Clothesline Project Raises Awareness of Campus Sexual Assault


By Gemma Carretta, Staff Writer

Every October since 1997, the Student Support and Advocacy Center has sponsored events on campus to raise awareness about sexual assault and violence against women during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project is one such event addressing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It was created in 1991 to give survivors an opportunity to make their voices heard by expressing what happened when they were ignored.

Their messages are painted on t-shirts by survivors to express their feelings and what they wish to communicate to others about their experience with assault. Over the last twenty years, the display at Mason has grown to more than 500 shirts.

During Turn Off the Violence week from Oct. 23-27, these shirts will be hung on clotheslines across campus as a visual reminder to the Mason community of the impacts of sexual assault, to help survivors heal, and too remember those who are unable to tell their own story.

Domestic Violence Awareness month initially began with the intention of connecting advocates working to end violence against women and children from all across the United States. However, it has become much more than that. Universities across the country are doing their part by drawing attention to and discussing issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault that directly affect their students, and Mason is no different.

If you wish to participate, the shirt making events will take place on Oct. 16 from 5-7:30 p.m. in North Plaza, on Oct. 18 from 11-2 p.m. at the JC kiosks, Oct. 19 from 11-2 p.m. in the Patriot Lounge, and Oct. 20 from 11-3 p.m. in the SUB 1 Quad.

The office of University Life encourages all students to view the display on the Fairfax campus, which will take place from Oct. 23-27 as part of Turn Off the Violence Week.

Photos Courtesy of Mason Creative Services