From Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County:
The 15th Annual Silent Witness ceremony remembering those who were killed due to domestic violence will be held on Sunday, October 4 at 11:30 AM at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County located at 2515 Churuchville Road, Churchville. Speakers will include Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, SARC’s Safe House Director Lisa Sloyer and State’s Attorney Joseph Cassily.
The unveiling of the figures, which will be displayed outside during the month of October, will conclude the ceremony which will begin inside the church. Family and friends of victims as well as the public are invited to attend.
The UUFHC Silent Witness Initiative originated in 2001. With grants from Harford Community College, supplies were purchased and over time 15 figures were built by church members.
The Silent Witness National Initiative began in 1990 with a group of 8 women from the St. Paul/Minneapolis area who decided to address the issue of domestic violence murders in their community. They created 26 life-sized red wooden figures, each one bearing the name of a women whose life ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner or acquaintance. A 27th figure was added to represent those uncounted women whose murders went unsolved or were erroneously ruled accidental. The organizers called the figures the Silent Witnesses.
What started as a small grassroots project soon spread to other states. By 1997 all 50 states had a Silent Witness project of their own and there are now Silent Witness projects in several other countries.
Since the figures were first displayed in 2001, there have been 763 deaths in the State of Maryland attributed to domestic violence. Further, according to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, between 2008 and 2014 12 people were killed in Harford County including men, women and children.
Rev. Lisa Ward, UUFHC’s minister states, ” The Silent Witness Initiative helps us understand the profound damage violence brings to our lives by naming the devastation within our communities. The most effective awareness is through personal connections”.
The mission of Silent Witness is to promote peace, healing, and responsibility in adult relationships in order to eliminate domestic murders in the United States by 2020. You can learn more about the Silent Witness National Initiative by visiting its website at www.silentwitness.net.
To learn more about the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Harford County go to uufhc.net