By Melissa Gilbert |Staff Writer|
Domestic violence is a sensitive subject that people tend to avoid, but has become one of the main focuses of the Women’s Resource Center’s (WRC) with the Clothesline Project Workshop.
The new cause is an educational and a recovery tool for victims of domestic abuse and allows people who have suffered from brutality get to share their stories and reflect through art.
The movement was first initiated in 1990 in Massachusetts and has become a thriving project to raise awareness for domestic violence.
WRC is hosting The Clothesline Project to assist domestic violence victims with the healing process of the traumatic events they have experienced.
The new workshop launched on April 7 and came to a close on April 10.
This activity was created to accomplish three things.
First, to help people make peace with their abusive past.
Second, to raise awareness on the issue that is domestic violence to the public and third, to empower and support women who are still suffering from violence.
Elisa, one of the students in charge of the project stated, “A lot of people come to the WRC and ask for an event in relation to domestic violence because their mother or friend have been victims of violence against women.”
She said, “Approximately twice a week, I refer students to community services helping women.”
Elisa’s statement is supported by the statistics on domestic assault from Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) stating that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
The same survey demonstrates that in the United States, an average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by a partner. Yearly, 12 million Americans are victims of abuse.
Domestic assault also affects men, children and friends.
It is imperative to create events like the Clothesline Project to offer a platform of expression to the survivors and allow them to come to terms and accept their past.
There are about 500 projects nationally and internationally, from Massachusetts to Tanzania with an average of 50,000 to 60,000 decorated T-shirts, according to the Clothesline Project website.
The Clothesline Project has proven to be an effective method of healing. Other groups and organization have picked up the idea and applied it to their own cause.
Violence against women is, unfortunately, still a part of our reality despite the fact that many organizations work on a daily basis to achieve the same goals as the Clothesline Project.
Even if the number of victims remains high, it is imperative that more initiatives like the Clothesline Project take place to raise awareness.
The shirts decorated during The Clothesline Project Workshops will be displayed to the public between April 14 and 18 at the Student Union.