Clothesline Project Helps Survivors Stand Up to Violence
March 29, 2011
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Cheryl Kamenski (801) 863-6351
Hung close together on a clothesline, linked arm in arm, T-shirts created by survivors of different kinds of violence help them realize they are not alone. This display, known as the Clothesline Project, will be presented April 5-6 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center Grande Ballroom at Utah Valley University.
“We usually hear about specific violent cases sensationalized in the media, but we remain unaware about violence that occurs every day in our community,” said UVU Equity in Education Center Director Jennie Briggs, who heads up the project at UVU. “The clothesline helps increase awareness of how often violence occurs and how it hits so close to home.”
The local Bikers Against Child Abuse chapter will provide a special presentation April 5 at 6:30 p.m. on efforts to protect children and end violence against them. Then on April 6 at 12:00 p.m., Mina Uscharawadi from the Center for Women and Children in Crisis will give a presentation on sexual assault awareness. Following the speech, the Utah County Domestic Violence Coalition will offer a special showing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary about the life and death of a domestic violence homicide victim, in the Grande Ballroom Commons area. All events are free and open to the public.
The Clothesline Project, displayed at UVU at least twice each year since 1998, has increased community awareness of violence and provides a voice for survivors and their families.
“Just from the numbers alone, we had 30 new T-shirts made in 2006 and last October there were 170 new T-shirts added to the clothesline,” Briggs said. “More people are becoming aware of the project and it provides a safe place for those who have experienced violence to be heard.”
Briggs said most participants are UVU students and many return from year to year to add another T-shirt to the clothesline to mark their healing progress. The project, honoring Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, is presented by UVU’s Equity in Education, Turning Point and Women’s Resource centers and the Utah County Domestic Violence Coalition.
The Clothesline Project was established in Massachusetts in 1990 when the Women’s Defense Agenda learned that during the same time 58,000 soldiers were killed during the Vietnam War, 51,000 women in the United States were killed by men claiming to love them.
For more information or to view the Clothesline Project, visit www.uvu.edu/equitycenter or contact UVU Equity in Education at 801-863-8498.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.