Monthly Archives: January 2013

Poem – Tell Us Again

Tell us again

(written by a member of Beaumont Hospital’s Domestic Violence Committee)

Tell us again, as you stand so tall…
In scarlet red, sound the battle call.
Cry from the city, cry from the town,
Cry from the quite countryside round.
Remind us, behind those curtains drawn…
Beyond that perfectly manicured lawn,
When someone comes home, terror arrives…
Those they should love fear for their lives.

Some little ones, coming home from school
Are beaten with words that are brutal and cruel.

Some receive bruises from blow after blow,
Hidden by clothing so others won’t know.

Some children sadly are dreading the night,
Clutching their pillow, they hear parents fight.

Secrets they live with…secrets they fear,
Secrets unknown by everyone near.

Secrets they carry to church, to the store…
Secrets that might be living next door.

For these figure standing…these figures in red,
These secrets tell us, why they re dead.

These figures one wore fine clothes and a smile,
Hand in hand, one bright day, they walked down the aisle,
These figures once may have played in a park,
Their bright, sunny days were then lost to the dark.

These figures were someone’s child, someone’s mother,
Someone’s husband or wife, someone’s sister or brother.
They didn’t deserve to die by violence or strife,
At the hands of one with whom they trusted their life.

Their love made them vulnerable…they hoped for the best,
Many new starts to their story, these figures now tell the rest.

All their dreams…they have vanished; Their hopes…disappeared…
Their walk with us ended in a way they always feared.

Now silent, they stand, as witness for all,
In scarlet, among us, they silently call…
Who will dare to listen, who will dare to hear…
The cries of the wounded who are living in fear?

Who’ll fight for the broken, who will help show the way,
For those in the darkness to find their new day?

In your comfort at home, in your own family’s love…
Remember the hurting ones, God sees from above.

Pray for their safety…for calm, for release,
Continue the cause until all live in peace.

Shelia’s Shawls Project 10 years later

Who would ever have dreamed back in 2003 when the Sheila Shawl project was started in honor of Sheila Wellstone that 10 years later we would have distributed over 6000 shawls and scarves to the families of domestic violence and abuse victims.

Renee Youngberg is the Sheila Shawl National Coordinator and she and other coordinators have done an incredible job of keeping this project alive. Contact her at

Learn more about the project at




Thank you messages from those who have received shawls.


I just received the two boxes of shawls that you sent – THANK YOU!!! I feel like I’m swimming in them!

I had a magical day today… I had to take our shelter van to the shop for some service. When I was ready to leave, the cashier looked at my ticket and saw “Women’s Resource Center” and asked me, “Is this for battered women?” I said yes. Then she asked me, “Do you get federal funding that covers this?” I told her that we received some, but we rely mostly on grants and donations. She handed me back the credit card and insisted that she pay for our bill herself, saying that she knew “what its like,” and reached for her purse. She didn’t take no for an answer.

As soon as I got back in the van, I knew I had to go back to the shelter and get her a shawl and bring it right over to her. When I gave it to her she had this look of wonder on her face. It was beautiful. She kept saying, “You didn’t have to do this…”

It was a nice moment.

Hi Janet,
I wanted to let you know that all of the shawls and scarves have been received and they are beautiful! I’m sorry I did not get back to you earlier, but things have been hectic. Two of the shawls went to adult daughters of a woman that was killed in Williamsburg County. Her murderer was convicted last week and sentenced to 40 years. I am in the process of contacting another woman whose daughter was raped and murdered by a neighbor. The neighbor was supposed to be in prison on a violation of probation and a bond error resulted in his release. This happened in the fall of last year and the mother is having a terrible time – particularly because this would not have occurred if the system had worked! I know that a shawl will bring her a little bit of comfort.

I wanted to get a mailing address for you, because I’d like to make a contribution. As a non-profit my organization is not able to do so, but I would like to help with the cost of the shipping – I hope that you will continue to be able to “do what you do” for a long time!


In searching the web for domestic violence issues I met Nancy Rafi in Rhode Island.
There was a link for a FREE shawl on the website. Not knowing how fabulous this was about to be, I asked her to send my mother one and my sister since Mama is living with her at this time in Raleigh, NC.  I went to visit with my younger sister this past Saturday, and was so moved to find that from my interest through emails to Nancy Rafi, that she had three shawls sent (yes, one for me also).  This is truly a comfort to sit with my shawl over my shoulders.  All of us were very thankful and I will be writing to my knitter since she did a splendid job on the one I picked. Hilda Pizzuti is her name, and I feel the love she put in this while she sat and worked.  Just wanted to write you after reading parts of your newsletter today at work.   What wonderful things you are doing.
My youngest sister Danette Streater was murdered by her so-called boyfriend in 1998.
We may never find peace without her. She was one of the kindest, and most precious women anyone could know. Now, we don’t get to grow old with her in our lives.
Sorry this is so long.  I must go, but thanks.

With a loving heart, Debby

Poem – Throat, Knife, Words

Throat, Knife, Words 
Jill Breckenridge 

I couldn’t cry the day my mother died.
She was shy, never good with words.

She thought that vodka made her droll.
She stored her bottles with the toilet paper.

She stuffed and zipped them into winter boots.
She hid them under Idaho potatoes.

My father drank martinis from a pitcher.
He floated olives in them, little ice.

My mother ran her car into the streetlight.
My father ran his fist into her face.

At six, I knew that secrets saved your life.
I hid the butcher knife beneath the sheets.

My heart gave back our nightmare in the light:
He strangled her against my cowboy spread.

His hands around her neck, her face turned blue.
I meant to run the knife between his ribs.

He heard me yell, I’m going to kill you, Daddy!
My father knocked the knife out of my hand.

Slumping to the floor, he sobbed till dawn.
He never hit her in the face again.

The day she died, she put her make-up on.
I wanted us to say what was unsaid.

Cancer of the throat, she couldn’t speak.
We never found the words to make it right.

(Jill wants you to know that this poem is written in iambic pentameter for
those of you who are poetry aficionados! And it is autobiographical. This
poem will be included in her new book of poems, The Gravity of Flesh.)

Bureau of Justice releases statistics on Intimate Partner Violence 1993-2010

This link has the details

The latest information Nov. 27, 2012 from the Bureau Of Justice Statistics (BJS) on Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010 Shannan M. Catalano, Ph.D.

November 27, 2012 NCJ 239203

Presents data on nonfatal intimate partner violence among U.S. households from 1993 to 2010. Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report presents trends in intimate partner violence by sex, and examines intimate partner violence against women by the victim’s age, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, and household composition. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.


  •  From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64%, from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 3.6 per 1,000.
  •  Intimate partner violence declined by more than 60% for both males and females from 1994 to 2010.
  •  From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.
  •  Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
  •  Compared to every other age group, a smaller percentage of female victims ages 12 to 17 were previously victimized by the same offender.
  •  The rate of intimate partner violence for Hispanic females declined 78%, from 18.8 victimizations per 1,000 in 1994 to 4.1 per 1,000 in 2010.
  •  Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only.

About the Source Data

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) To cite this product, use the following link: