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Recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month

T-shirts displaying messages against violence hang by clothespins in Shepard Union for the Clothesline Project.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and the Weber State University Women’s Center is hosting a few events to raise awareness. One such event is the Clothesline Project.

According to the Clothesline official website, the purpose of the project is “bearing witness to violence against women.” The Clothesline Project is an event hosted at universities all over the United States, at which survivors of domestic and sexual violence can raise awareness by decorating a t-shirt, which will then be put on display.

“They will personalize that shirt to kind of mimic or mirror what that experience felt like to them,” Andrea Hernández, the program coordinator for the Weber State Women’s Center, said.

At Weber State, the Women’s Center provides t-shirts for students to decorate and displays them in the Shepherd Union. The display remains up for the whole month of October.

“The purpose of the Clothesline Project … is to increase awareness on the impact of violence and abuse, and to honor survivors’ strength to continue and to provide another avenue for them to courageously break the silence that often surrounds their experience,” Hernández said.

The Women’s Center has hosted the Clothesline Project in the Shepherd Union for seven years and eventually collaborated with Wildcat Village to bring the project to residents. The event goes hand-in-hand with the Safe @ Weber Violence Prevention initiative.

“This definitely helps with violence prevention efforts to be able to allow us space to be able to have these particular conversations around consent, around healthy relationships, around boundaries,” Hernández said.

Another goal of the project is to give survivors a chance to use their voice and take a step towards working through their trauma.

“The purpose of the Clothesline Project … is to increase awareness on the impact of violence and abuse, and to honor survivors’ strength to continue and to provide another avenue for them to courageously break the silence that often surrounds their experience,” Hernández said. “That’s their way of being able to kind of like, work through that incident.”

Over the years, the display has proven to be an impactful and positive influence on campus.

“We have seen how powerful this type of event is for a campus community,” Hernández said.

Not only does the project raise awareness of issues concerning violence against women, it is also an avenue for students to learn about some of the resources available to them on campus. The WSU Women’s Center provides advocates for survivors of violence as well as resources to help survivors get on a path to recovery.

“We also let [students] know that we have an advocate in our area so if they ever want to seek out our resources around talking to an advocate, about maybe like a certain incident that they were going through, around sexual assault, domestic violence, anything under that umbrella, we have that resource available to them,” Hernández said. “There are allies across this campus who are here, willing to listen, willing to help out in any way that we can.”

The Clothesline Project is on display for all students to see on the balcony of the atrium in the Shepherd Union building.

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McKinna Baird, News reporter
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