Wyoming Silent Witness Project

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Wyoming Silent Witness Project

Categories: News

In the name of the Silent Witnesses…
I Pledge to heal abuse in my own life, in my family, and in my community.
I will work to make this world free of domestic violence,
so we can live in peace.

Since 1985, an estimated sixty-six Wyoming women, seven men, four boys and one girl have been murdered as a result of domestic violence.  In 1994 alone, eight women died at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, or acquaintance.  Three additional children and seven males, including brothers, were also killed during these same domestic violence incidents.

Because all of us have a responsibility to act to end these senseless deaths, Wyoming joined other states in a national initiative committed to raising the level of awareness about domestic violence.

On February 28, 1997, Wyoming unveiled an exhibit as the first phase of the Silent Witness Initiative at a special ceremony in the State Capitol.  The exhibit consisted of 38 red life-size wood silhouettes representing the women and children murdered as a result of domestic violence.  Brandy Jo Imhoff’s small silhouette speaks for children murdered in domestic violence situations.  Each adult silhouette bears a shield with the name of the murdered woman, age at time of death, and the circumstances of her death. To represent the associated victims, a male silhouette and an additional child silhouette were added to the exhibit in 2001.

The exhibit was displayed in the Herschler Gallery of the Capitol until it began its journey around the State of Wyoming to “bear witness” to the serious problem of domestic violence in the state.”

On October 18, 1998, state and local representatives gathered at the Capitol in Cheyenne, for a “March to End the Silence.” A caravan of vehicles approached the city from opposite sides of the state coming together to “call for the healing of domestic violence in our cities, state, and country.” Former State Senator John Perry from Buffalo, who co-sponsored Wyoming’s Victims Bill of Rights, was the keynote speaker. Four new silhouettes were added to the exhibit. The event was held in conjunction with marches across the United States.

Sweetwater County Victims Include:

CARA MIA BONSELL – Age 42 – June 24, 2010
CHERYL WARD – Age 41 – August 17, 2002
LEYSA MICHELLE BERNAL – Age 21 – May 29, 1999
DEBRA A. MOTT – Age 40 – October 9, 1997
KERI L. RYAN – Age 22 – December 11, 1996
LIANA MAE DAVIDSON – Age 22 – August 10, 1996 (Erik Robert Duke also killed)
LAURA BOSSA – Age 20 – July 20, 1994
HEATHER McWILLIAMS – Age 22 – 1991

To learn more go to:  Wyoming Silent Witness Initiative