Hanging Up Their Stories to Dry

On September 24-27th, the entire UC Lawn will be covered with the criss-crossing of clotheslines with colorful, decorative shirts hanging from them. Unfortunately, it won’t be a joyful event. For each red or pink shirt displayed, it symbolizes a woman who has survived rape or sexual assault. For each yellow or beige shirt, a woman who has survived some form of abuse or battery. For each green or blue shirt, a woman who has survived incest or had been sexually abused as a child. For each purple shirt, a woman who was attacked because of her sexual orientation. And for each white shirt, a woman who has died because of violence.The Women’s Center is bringing the Clothesline Project back to WCU. This project is a huge tribute to women and a memorial to those women who have been victims and survivors of violence. Originally the project was formed by The Cape Cod Woman’s Agenda in Massachusetts in 1990 after one of the members witnessed a traveling exhibit for the Vietnam War Memorial. While 58,000 men were killed in the Vietnam War, 51,000 women were killed in America by men. It struck these Massachusetts women that there should be a memorial for those women as well, and the Clothesline Project took off from there.”This is to educate the campus community that domestic violence is still a major issue and one we need to face,” says Stephanie Hesbacher, the coordinator for the project this year. Volunteers, especially those who would like to help set-up or take down the project, are encouraged to contact her at the Women’s Center on the 3rd floor of the UC in the Center for Student Involvement. From 1-6PM on the 24-27th, you can check out the Clothesline Project on the UC Lawn. Rain dates will be held in the UC Grand Room on the 26-27th. An information table from REACH of Jackson County, a non-profit organization committed to stopping domestic violence and sexual assault, will be set up alongside the project. This is a great opportunity to get involved in eradicating violence against women. First you have to become educated about the different forms of violence that take place. So many people shut out this issue and pretend it doesn’t happen all that much. This year there will be over 300 shirts displayed. The abundance of these shirts and the stories on them don’t lie. Please go check out the Clothesline Project and become aware of what’s going on behind closed doors. Get out there and help do what’s right: stop the tragedies that women are going through right now.