By Ryan Libby |Staff Writer|
Students express their stories of domestic violence by decorating t-shirts and The Clothesline
Nearly 25 percent of women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. And nearly 74 percent of Americans personally know or have known someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, according to the Domestic Violence Resource Center.
The Women’s Resource Center gives those who have been a casualty of domestic violence an outlet to anonymously portray their feelings.
“I think it’s important that students have any sort of outlet for expressing their grief,” said student Angelica Davalos.
Having the ability to share one’s feelings through art can give some students a sense of therapy. A release of energy and thoughts that might not have been shared.
The Clothesline Project brings students together as they create a shirt to tell their story.
“It’s one of the best ways to communicate your troubles,” said student John Shipley. “The whole process of creating that sort of art piece is just complete fun, it’s very relaxing especially if you’re doing it with a group.”
By taking advantage of this opportunity to come together, students are able to rid their feelings of loneliness and solidarity concerning domestic violence.
Students may also become more aware of the problems that exist within society.
As a student with a job, homework and other life events, it is hard to become an active voice for an issue you care so strongly about.
“[As] the Women’s Resource Center, it’s our duty to bring these issues to the students,” said Davalos. “It’s so easy for us to just walk by and not think of what people go through.”
One shirt hanging on display in the Santos Manuel Student Union said, “I am Ironwoman.”
Drawn with the Ironman symbol, according to its creator, the shirt aims to say that women are just as strong and independent as men.
This feeling of strength is just what this project aims to give these victims and those who know them.
“Since [the shirts are] anonymous, they don’t have to face anybody or actually tell anybody what happened, they can just reflect it in a t-shirt,” said Davalos.
Sometimes all a person needs is a friend to be able to express their deepest secrets to and with this project students can allow their feelings to be shared with the public without people knowing who they actually are.
Artistic expression, even through a t-shirt, can allow victims to feel closure.
“I think in some cases it does [give them closure] because some of them might have never had the opportunity to put it in writing or let anybody know,” Davalos said. “So as they’re walking through [the SMSU] and they see their shirt, other people are seeing it too.”
By providing women and others the chance to make people aware of domestic violence, the WRC is living up to their mission of providing programs to “enhance [women’s] college experience and actualize their fullest potential.”