Clothesline Project to provide healing experience for sexual assault survivors April 12April 11th, 2017 by Christine Billau
Every day, hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence.
As part of the efforts to draw awareness to the devastating effects these attacks have on families and individuals, The University of Toledo Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program will host the annual Clothesline Project.
“The Clothesline Project benefits victims of sexual assault and their family members by acting as a vehicle for them to express their emotions by decorating a shirt that they feel is representative of how they feel or how the assault has affected them,” Lena Salpietro, graduate assistant for Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program, said. “It can be an integral part of the healing and recovery process because it provides another avenue for the individual to break the silence that can often surround their experience.”
The Clothesline Project will be on display from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 on UT’s Centennial Mall. If it rains, the display will be in Thompson Student Union Trimble Lounge.
The T-shirt collection, which currently holds more than 200 shirts, coordinates a color to many types of abuse: white for those who died because of violence; yellow and beige for battered and assaulted women; red, pink and orange for survivors of rape and sexual assault; blue and green for survivors of incest and sexual abuse; purple for those who were attacked because of their sexual orientation; and black for women attacked for political reasons.
“This event helps spark campus-wide discussions about sexual assault and aims to help convey the enormity of the problem of sexual assault. Other survivors are able to see tangible evidence that they are not alone and that there are resources on campus to support them,” Salpietro explained. “This display is also extremely influential for those who have the opportunity to view the collection of shirts; they are able to see that sexual assault is a pervasive issue and that real people are affected by it.”
Salpietro added there are many resources available for survivors of assault on UT campuses, including the Counseling Center, YWCA advocate, campus advocate, sexual assault and domestic violence counselor, and a 24/7 hotline. Title IX accommodations, advocacy and assistance filing a University complaint also are available.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the University is hosting a series of educational events, including self-defense training, a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event and a lecture by rape survivor and author Liz Seccuro.
For the full list of events, utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/saepp/awareness-month.