Clotheslines to the rescue

Every day violent acts are performed all around the world. War, robberies, theft and destruction can happen anywhere.  We hear about these acts and incidents on the news and radio every day. Thankfully, there are programs out there that are prepared to help put a stop to the madness.

The average clothesline is no longer just for the backyard. Graphic by Steve Furtado.

The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program that focuses mainly on the issue of violence against women.  It started in 1990 in Cape Cod, Mass.  Since then, CLP has spread worldwide. This project allows women to make a shirt; could be a sweatshirt, t-shirt, long sleeve, short sleeve, tank top, etc. On these shirts, women write statements having to do with violent acts that have been done to them or their loved ones.  They can write anything they want.  This artistic declaration gives women a voice and allows them to feel empowered.

No act is too little to be acknowledged. When girls and women come together as a group and are able to have the courage to state their stories on shirts for the public to see, as strength fills the air.  The pain, frustration, fear and disappointment is displayed all over every shirt allowing others to see the hurt that so many women go through, but the goal of CLP is not to get pity from on-lookers. It is to find strength in numbers. Knowing that you are not alone is comforting and when women get together and display the problems they have to overcome, other women start to realize that they are not alone in their struggle.  There are others out there that have to same fears, frustrations, disappointments and pains that others do.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is helping to spread this amazing project. Take Back the Night is also another organization that helps support the display of these shirts as well. Now Radford University is joining the cause as well.  RU hosted a Clothesline Project on Oct. 17 in the Hurlburt Plaza. RU students came together and found strength in numbers while voicing their stories on shirts.

CLP takes pride in making sure that no girl or woman is left unheard and that she knows that she is not alone in her struggle. There are people there that can help.