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0 October 20, 2017

The Clothesline Project at UWG – The WOLF News

By Bode Brooks, The WOLF News Director

Dozens of t-shirts have adorned campus over the past two weeks bearing messages of hope and awareness for domestic violence. The WOLF News spoke with Mary Beth Thompson, UWG Health Education Coordinator about the Clothesline Project, an annual event by UWG Peer Health Educators and the Responsible Sexuality Committee allows students to speak out about domestic violence in a personal, creative way.

“It raises awareness about interpersonal and domestic violence as well as sexual violence. It gives a space for survivors to speak out about their own experiences in an anonymous way and it gives friends and family members of survivors a chance to show support,” said Thompson when describing the Clothesline Project’s purpose. Students were able to design messages on shirts outside of Ingram Library where they were displayed for a week on clotheslines. The messages were those of encouragement and empowerment, some even a platform to share personal experiences or stories. Thompson said the clotheslines give people a visual for how widespread this issue is.

“Given the rates of domestic and sexual violence in the world, everyone knows someone, whether they know it or not, so whether they know or not they can give those messages of support, those empowering words, to people who have experienced it,” said Thompson. This year 165 shirts were made, which Thompson said was lower than average due to high temperatures. Last year, 260 shirts were made for the Clothesline Project.

“The next step we hope is that people see the shirts and they want to know ‘what can I do to help?’, said Thompson. Various events are held throughout the year for students to get involved and help raise awareness. UWG Health Education also hosts ‘Take Back the Night’ each spring, in addition to various seminars, and guest speakers aiming to educate on domestic and sexual violence and encourage victims to speak out.

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