20th Annual Wyoming Silent Witness Ceremony
Wyoming’s annual Silent Witness Ceremony will be held in Cheyenne, WY on October 6, 2017. Safehouse Services, the Wyoming’s Silent Witness Committee, the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and the Wyoming Division of Victim Services are sponsors of this event.
This year’s ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Cheyenne Botanical Gardens. The ceremony will include comments from the organizers of the first Silent Witness Ceremony in 1997 including Justice William U. Hill, former Attorney General Gay Woodhouse, and former WCADVSA Executive Director Rosemary Bratton. Carla Thurin-Safehouse Executive Director, Tom Jacobson-Safehouse Board Member, and Jennifer Zenor-WCADVSA Executive Director, and local community and system based advocates will share comments, induct and retire silhouettes, and read the roll call of all of the silent witnesses representing women who have been killed in acts of domestic violence. A reception will follow at the Botanical Gardens.
In 1997 Wyoming joined the other 49 states in a single project committed to raising the level of public awareness about domestic violence. Known as “The Wyoming Silent Witness Initiative (WSWI),” the program’s mission is to promote peace, healing, and responsibility in intimate relationships in order to eliminate domestic violence.
The “Silent Witnesses” are women who, since 1985, were murdered in Wyoming at the hands of a spouse, intimate partner, or family member and are now symbolically represented by life-sized wooden silhouettes made by the women of the Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk and the men of the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton. Included in the exhibit are silhouettes representing the men and children who were also killed by the perpetrators of domestic violence. The life-size exhibit has been a very effective tool in helping various groups and the public be more aware and understand the extent of this tragic problem. If you are interested in learning more about the Wyoming Silent Witness Initiative, contact the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at 307-755-5481 or Safehouse Services at 307-634-4220.