T-shirts of various colors hang across the Mall. On closer inspection, some of the clothes are decorated with messages of support, while others detail graphic experiences that might be hard for most people to share.
As the wind blows, the shirts act as flags for the survivors.
Sponsored by the Associated Students Organization, the Clothesline Project will be displayed on the Mall today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Clothesline Project began in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1990 to give a voice for women who have have affected by violence and to address the issue of violence toward women, according to the website clotheslineproject.org.
“It’s a beautiful display of support for survivors of violence,” said Lara Conrady-Wong, Student Engagement Coordinator and Counselor. “Not only is it a historical display of shirts from the past [Clothesline Project events], but we have new shirts for students, staff and faculty to decorate as well.”
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and to raise awareness on the issue, the ASO, the Student Health Center and the library have worked together to organize a series of events, such as the screenings of “He Named Me Malala” and “The Hunting Ground,” which will be screened at the Great Hall at 4 p.m., according to Conrady-Wong.
More than four million women in the United States experience violence by someone they know each year and one in four women will experience violence in their lifetimes by a partner, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
“For me, the Clothesline Project is empowering,” said Holly Hagan, Textbook Buyer for the Pierce College Student Store. “I’ve always been a very tough person and I don’t let anything knock me down, so to be a part of the project, it’s important to raise awareness to these issues of violence towards women.”
Hagan, who is a survivor of domestic violence, has been a part of past Clothesline Project events on campus and originally brought the display to Pierce.
“Some of the t-shirts are really heartbreaking,” Hagan said. “There have been times where I’ve read a message on a shirt and totally cried because some of these people go through such traumatic situations and then some of them are even still in that situation because they don’t know how to get out.”
The different colors of shirts for the project represents the forms of violence that women experienced. White shirts represent the women who have died because of violence, red shirts for survivors of rape and sexual assaults and purple or lavender shirts for women who were attacked for their sexual orientation, according to the Clothesline Project’s website.
Women between the ages of 16-24 experience the highest per capita of violence by their partner and a quarter of college women will experience sexual assault over the course of their college life, according to a report by the University of Michigan.
The Student Health Center offers some services to students who may experience violence.
“One of the most important things we provide is a place for students to come in and feel safe to talk,” said Loralyn Frederick, Health Center Assistant. “They can seek therapy and counseling from one of our mental health specialists.”
The Student Health Center has two clinical psychologists that students can talk to and the center is looking to Title IX to provide more funding for additional resources for students, according to Frederick.
During the event, there will be a booth where students can participate and decorate shirts with their messages and seek information about the project, according to Conrady-Wong.
“In case students will have questions, we will have staff available on site,” Conrady-Wong said. “We’re prepared in case students need additional support like if they become affected [by the experience of viewing the project].”
In coordination with the Clothesline Project and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the ASO and the Student Health Center will screen the documentary “The Hunting Ground” at the Great Hall on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 4 p.m. through 6 p.m.