Concord to Host Silent Witness Exhibit

For Immediate Release: 
Oct 07 2002

Concord to Host Silent Witness Exhibit

Athens, W.Va. - In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Office of Multicultural Affairs is pleased to announce that the exhibit “Silent Witness” is coming to Concord College on Tuesday, October 15th. The exhibit consists of 26 free-standing, life-sized red wooden figures, each bearing the name of a woman who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family, children– whose life ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner, or acquaintance. A twenty-seventh figure represents those uncounted women whose murders when unsolved or were erroneously ruled accidental. The figures will be placed in buildings and along walkways on campus in an effort to end the silence about domestic violence.

The silent witness initiative began in 1990 when a group of Minnesota women felt an urgency to do something that would speak out against the escalating domestic violence in their state, something that would commemorate the lives of 26 women whose lives had been lost in 1990 as a result of domestic violence. The women created the first 26 “witnesses,” and on February 18, 1991, more than 500 women met at a church across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol with the newly-constructed Witnesses lined up at the front of the sanctuary. The women formed a silent procession escorting the figures single file across the street, up the steps, and into the State Capitol Rotunda for public statements and a press conference. The sheer volume of space the figures occupied spoke of their power...and the loss. The Silent Witness Exhibit was officially launched.

The goal of the Silent Witness National Initiative is “0 by 2010," zero domestic murders by the year 2010. “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides us with a special opportunity to emphasize that domestic violence is a crime and to offer victims aid and support” said Nancy Ellison, Director of Multicultural Affairs, “Silent Witness provides an ideal opportunity for education, awareness, and promotion of healthy, non-violent relationships for all students, faculty, and staff within the college community.

For more information, contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or


Concord College Notes: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5276 or Alice Dillon, 1-304-384-5177, if special accommodations are required to see this exhibition.