Steps to HOPE Clothesline Project raises awareness

Published 2:39 pm Friday, February 6, 2009

Signs with facts, statistics, and other information regarding the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault within the United States were placed beneath the clothesline. The Clothesline Project was intended to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault issues in our community ‐ to alert others that these things can and do happen here. While these subjects can be difficult and hurtful, there is a positive side to awareness: knowledge about domestic violence and sexual assault can empower us to work toward putting an end to these forms of violence. We can move toward becoming more conscious of our relationship decisions and more alert as bystanders about the choices or behaviors of others. Without this knowledge, domestic violence and sexual assault attitudes and behaviors continue unchanged.

It was hoped that participation in this year&squo;s Clothesline Project would aid in the healing and empowerment of survivors. The opportunity to witness the interactions and conversations taking place between those who walked through the Clothesline was extremely gratifying.

One parent was overheard saying to her children, &dquo;You guys are old enough that we need to start talking about this.&dquo;&bsp; As they walked through the exhibit, the family shared what they saw in each shirt, and the adults talked with their children about domestic violence and sexual assault issues. If nothing else, we are hopeful that the Clothesline Project was a catalyst for conversation resulting in a positive effect on the future of those family members.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Last year&squo;s theme during October&squo;s Domestic Violence Awareness Month was &dquo;Domestic violence affects everyone and everyone can make a difference.&dquo;&bsp; Simple and easy ways to make a difference are by wearing a purple ribbon as a symbol of support or by talking about domestic violence and sexual assault issues with others.

‐ article submitted