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Silent Witness Project The Silent Witness Project consists of life-size, free standing, red, wooden silhouettes. Each silhouette represents a woman who was murdered by her intimate partner and whose partner was convicted of the murder or where both died in a murder/suicide. Because these women no longer have a voice, the silhouettes are called the Silent Witnesses. Each figure bears a shield with the name of a woman who once lived and worked among us. An additional, unnamed silhouette commemorates the women who are still suffering from domestic violence or whose murders went uncounted or unsolved. Through research and information sharing we eventually hope to craft a silhouette to honour every women in Manitoba who has died tragically as a result of domestic violence. The Silent Witness Project began as an American initiative. In 1990, Minnesota women created 27 free standing silhouettes. Eventually, it became a National American Silent Witness Initiative with all 50 states and numerous (30) countries participating in the project. In Canada, New Brunswick and Alberta have formed similar initiatives. 2005 is the year for Manitoba to join in speaking out against domestic violence through the Silent Witness Project, with the hope of seeing similar initiatives in every province and territory. Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre is co-chair of the Women’s Resource Centres/Services Coalition of Manitoba who is one of the partners bringing this project to life in Manitoba. The first annual Silent Witness event coincides with Domestic Violence Prevention Month with an official unveiling at the Rotunda in the Manitoba Legislature Building. The Women’s Resource Centres/Service Coalition of Manitoba in partnership with the Department of Family services and Housing (Family Violence Prevention Program), RESOLVE, Department of Justice and the Winnipeg Foundation are honoured to bring the Silent Witness Project to Manitoba. Each year we will add to the number of silhouettes as their families come forward with requests to have their loved one included. Family involvement promotes healing and an opportunity to speak out on family violence issues. For more information or to become involved with this project, please contact the Manitoba Silent Witness Planning Committee in Winnipeg 477-1123, and outside Winnipeg (204) 642-8264.
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