Demonstration brings awareness to campus

Shirts collected for display since first Clothesline Project; each is made by a survivor or the friend of a survivor



The Clothesline Project displays messages from survivors of domestic violence on t-shirts Tuesday afternoon on Terrell Mall. The display has been up since Monday. The project is organized by the WSU Young Women’s Christian Association.

SHANEL HAYNES, Evergreen reporter

A white T-shirt hangs from a clothesline on Glenn Terrell Mall with words painted in red that read “Walk by and ignore the blood.”

The WSU Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) hopes to bring awareness to violence with The Clothesline Project as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project is a national campaign through the YWCA that focuses on telling the stories of friends and survivors of domestic and sexual violence, said Asha Johnson, the chair for Coalition for Women Students.

Johnson said the project gives the opportunity to those who want to tell their story without having to reveal their identity. The project also helps shine a light on the issue of violence to the community.

Sophomore Anahi Lopez said she knows a lot of people do not like to talk about violence on campus.

“I was here last year, and I saw these, and I noticed that a lot of people were just being quiet and not even stopping to read the shirts,” she said.

Lopez said she feels like The Clothesline Project makes people feel uncomfortable, but it is still something they should be aware of.

Freshman David Ramirez said when he first saw the shirts he instantly felt a connection with them.

He said that when he was younger, his father was abusive so he knew the pain that the victims might have felt.

“I read a shirt that I didn’t like. It said, ‘Boys will be boys,’ and so it made me feel bad because I would never do anything like that,” he said.

Ramirez said he hates that guys are viewed in that way and wants to do his part to break that stereotype.

Johnson said the shirts displayed on the clothesline have been collected since the first Clothesline Project. Each shirt is done by a survivor or the friend of a survivor. The shirts give people the chance to release anything that they are feeling inside and allow anyone to share their personal story.

The Clothesline Project is a part of Week without Violence. The Women*s Center has hosted workshops in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Student Services to bring awareness to violence in the community. One of the workshops is called Not Our Womxn, which focuses on violence that affects multicultural communities, she said.

Included in the Week Without Violence is a Greeks without Violence presentation aimed at how violence affects the Greek community and what changes can be made, Johnson said.

She said the hallmark event of the week, Take Back The Night, will take place at 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 on the Todd Steps. The event will begin with a speech in which survivors of violence will be acknowledged as well as survivors who are not there to tell their own stories.

“We are marching to make a change, to make that difference and push for different initiatives, and we are pushing for responsibility and accountability,” Johnson said.

She said that being a survivor of violence herself and frequently meeting other students who have been victims of violence is a factor in why spreading awareness is important to her.

“I’m in a position where I know that I have people to reach out to, and I know I have the platform to make a change so why not,” she said. “Problems don’t stop when we don’t acknowledge them, and sometimes even if we do acknowledge them, nothing proactive is being done.”