More than 200 T-shirts with heart-wrenching stories written on them were hung on clotheslines along the Mall Wednesday, April 24 in part of the Pierce College’s annual Clothesline Project.
The Clothesline Project–part of Denim Day, a yearly rape prevention campaign that raises community awareness of sexual violence and how to prevent it–allows students to write anonymous anecdotes of times when they experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence.
The project offers closure to those too scared to publicly announce what they’ve seen or experienced, and is staple in the Denim Day campaign, which gains more supporters every year.
“The clothesline was often a public forum for women to alleviate themselves,” said Holly Hagan, leader of the Campus Violence Response Team. “It allowed them to speak freely without prejudice.”
Students taking part in the project and creating shirts of their own often displayed bold expressions on their face, obviously in deep recollection of traumatic events that they’ve experienced.
Claire Torres, an intern at the Health Center, was elated by the turnout and support given during this year’s Denim Day events.
“[There’s] more supporters than I thought, which is awesome because it makes it easier for people to open up in these types of situations,” Torres said.
Torres, who helped pass out markers and T-shirts during the event, is hoping that the Clothesline Project will show up at more colleges around the United States.
“These shirts are actual proof that we are making a change,” she said. “We will no longer tolerate this abuse.”