Beebe Medical Center Exhibits “Silent Witness” October 19-24, 2003
Beebe Medical Center joins a nationwide initiative during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to remember those murdered in acts of domestic violence. Beebe Medical Center will serve as one of Delaware’s sites to exhibit the “Silent Witness Project,” a visual account of the toll domestic violence takes on our communities, from October 19 - 24, 2003 in the Emergency Department foyer. Each state has its own Silent Witness display, which features life-sized red wooden figures representing women in the state who have suffered the gravest consequences of domestic violence. Breastplate shields give each woman's name and story.
Delaware’s Silent Witness exhibit is based on the original project, which was conceived in 1990 by a group of women artists in Minnesota who wanted to bring attention to the seriousness of violence against women. The Minnesota exhibit included figures representing 33 women killed by husbands, lovers, friends and family members. Since 1997, all 50 states have created Silent Witness exhibits. The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence joined the national initiative by creating its Silent Witness Project in 1996. Delaware’s exhibit portrays 14 people who died as a result of domestic violence in 1995, including seven women, one man and six children, and illustrates the ultimate horror and tragedy of domestic violence. A 15th “universal” figure is intended to represent all Delaware victims of domestic violence.
Beebe Medical Center has a domestic violence response team, which includes a group of employees who are specially trained to provide information to victims of domestic violence. The team is called to meet with victims, provide support and to help them regain a sense of control.
Statistically, only one in every three cases of domestic violence is ever reported. In 1999, 28,128 cases of domestic abuse were reported in Delaware and 11 women and children died as a result. Children were present in 31 percent of these cases.
Silent Witness collects data and charts progress on domestic violence homicides for each of the fifty United States each year and posts them on their web site, www.silentwitness.net . According to the site, Delaware ranks tenth in the nation for the number of domestic homicides of women per million population in 2000: 5.12.