Clothesline Project spreads awareness of domestic violence

Speak UP holding annual event to stop violence against women

Megan Hays, Staff Writer

The annual Clothesline Project, sponsored by the peer education group Speak UP, will take place during this coming month of October. T-shirts will be decorated and hung on clotheslines in the Elaine Langone Center (ELC) and Bertrand Library to symbolize and express the emotions and perspectives of female victims of violence. The T-shirts will also act as a form of testimony against sexual assault and dating violence.

The Clothesline Project, a program devoted to stopping violence against women, debuted in the summer of 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Since then, it has continued to emerge nationally and spread worldwide.

At the University, the project is empowered through Speak UP, a group of coordinators and students devoted to the prevention, education and awareness of sexual violence on campus. The Clothesline Project is an effort to increase awareness and support during No More Month, which is a campaign devoted to unifying and mobilizing individuals against sexual violence throughout the month of October, or Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Because we display the shirts in the library and the ELC, this project displays a strong, public message of where Bucknell stands on the issues of sexual assault and relationship violence,” Speak UP peer Maggie Cushing ’18 said.

Individuals are invited to decorate shirts on Oct. 2 from 6-9 p.m. in The Commons and on Oct. 4 from 6-9 p.m. in the Women’s Resource Center and Intercultural Equity and Advocacy offices, located on the bottom floor of the ELC.

“Anyone is welcome to come and decorate a shirt with a message that is most meaningful to them; it can be something that relates to their own personal experience, a quote, a call to action, a message of support, or anything else that relates back to preventing sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking,” Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator Rachel Stewart said.

Last year, Speak UP made a total of 165 shirts with the help of student and faculty participants. This year, the team ordered 200 shirts in the hopes of bringing the campus together and making even more.

In organizing the event, Speak UP is tasked with finding a location, gathering supplies, and, most importantly, making sure that students and faculty know where and when to participate.

“Each year, new messages and themes emerge based on what is important to the community, and I think that really allows everyone to come together and feel involved in the event and display,” Stewart said. “I think the fact that the Bucknell community is physically involved in creating this display each year is a really powerful way to bring us all together.”

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