The YWCA and the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness hosted this year’s Clothesline project, making it the first time the YWCA center hosted the over 10-year-old project.
This project showcases shirts designed by victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence and their family members in Centennial Mall to bring awareness to sexual assault.
The shirts conveyed emotions, personal stories and remembrance for other people with sayings like “I trusted you,” and, “You will not break me.”
The YWCA created the project for victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse, but family and friends were encouraged to participate and show their support, said Megan Stewart, programming director at the Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness.
“One in three women and one in eight men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and unfortunately, most of them happen on a college campus,” Stewart said. “New surroundings, new living space and new relationships with people you do not know as well, things happen and we want people to know we are there to support them.”
The idea came from a time when women were mostly caretakers of the home and hung up the laundry, they would talk about the problems they were having in their lives, said Keri Black, program manager with the YWCA Hope Center.
A few days before hosting the showing of the shirts, people gathered to make the shirts and counselors
are present if they need emotional support.
They also gave away water bottles, stress balls and shirts to bring awareness to the center so more people know they are there and that there is someone on campus that can help.
No one should feel alone because they are not, Stewart said.
Hanna Gerlica, a second-year business major said, “I thought it was amazing to see the innovative ways people come up with to get a point across to students.”