In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women is hosting the Northwest Ohio Silent Witness Project at Tinkham Veale University Center Monday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Nov. 1.
In 1990, an ad hoc group of women artists and writers, upset about the growing number of women in Minnesota being murdered by their partners or acquaintances, joined together with several other women's organizations to form Arts Action Against Domestic Violence. These compassionate women felt an urgency to do something that would speak out against the escalating domestic violence in their state. They set out to create something that would commemorate the lives of the 26 women whose lives had been lost in 1990 as a result of domestic violence.
The women designed 26 free-standing, life-sized red wooden figures, each one bearing the name of a woman who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family, children and 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 (the original 27 witnesses).