The Valley Trauma Center and Pierce College teamed up on Oct. 13 in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month.
This is the sixth semester that the event has been hosted at Pierce College. The event is fashioned after The Clothesline Project which allows those who have suffered due to abuse to tell there stories by writing them on T-shirts.
The shirts are then hung up on clotheslines where their stories can be read by others. The event at Pierce College has expanded this idea to include sexual assault as well as interpersonal violence.
Volunteers from Pierce College and The Valley Trauma Center hung up shirts from previous years as well as new ones that were made that day.
By the end of the day there were 60 shirts hanging from clotheslines telling people’s personal tragedies.
“We just want people to know that if they need help to get out of an abusing relationship or counseling there are people they can contact,” said Holly Hagan, a Bookstore Buyer who volunteered at the event.
Hogan has volunteered all six semesters that the event has taken place at Pierce College, she is a survivor of abuse and sexual assault who wants to spread the word that help is out there.
Students who passed were drawn to the colorful display that outlined so many others pain.
“I just feel fortunate,” said Michelle Seiler a 20-year-old, theater major. “Fortunate that I have a family that doesn’t express themselves this way.”
Students, faculty and staff members were all welcome to create shirts according to Jae Farkas Prevention Education Specialist.
“Abuse is preventable,” said Emil Farkas. “But it takes the energy of an entire community and a zero tolerance policy to stop it.”
The best selling author of the self defense book “Fight Back” Farkas was at the event demonstrating some simple self defense moves.
“Most people that attack women are looking for an easy victim,” said Farkas. “Most attackers want as little resistance as possible.”
The demonstration took place at 12:30 and lasted about a half hour. Farkas then answered questions and talked to students about the importance of self defense.
“It’s so good to see this,” said Nick Schafer a 20-year-old, art major. “So many people bottle this up and when you don’t vent it can consume you.”
“I just want to people to know we are here,” said Alana Perper whose been working for The Valley Trauma Center for 25 years “I believe that we are rebuilding lives.”
Bookstore buyer Holly Hagan displays the different meanings of each colored shirt and how it pertains to domestic violence during Domestic Violence Awareness Month at The Mall of Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Oct. 13, 2010. (Chris Audish/ Roundup)