By Rajoo Ananth, Domestic Violence Advocate
October 15th, 2016 — Saheli and ADVISE, a domestic violence education agency in Shrewsbury, MA, marked Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2016 by collaborating in a Clothesline Project on Shrewsbury Common. Survivors and loved ones of those affected by of violence and abuse gathered to express their emotions about the abuse by painting messages and images on t-shirts, which were then hung on a clothesline for the community to view.
Since 1992, the Clothesline Project project has been held in a number of countries, including the USA, Australia, and Israel. The aim of the Clothesline Project is to give survivors the opportunity to make awareness of their abuse public in a safe and anonymous way. Making domestic abuse public can begin the healing process for many survivors. For communities, the Clothesline Project is an annual reminder that abuse and violence against women remains a serious public health threat.
Women used various colors to paint T-shirts with each color representing different kinds of abuse:
- White – for women who have died because of the violence
- Yellow/Beige – for women who have been abused
- Red/Pink/Orange – for women who have experienced sexual violence
- Beige/Green/Teal – for women survivors of incest/child sexual abuse
- Purple – for women attacked due to their sexual orientation or other hate crime.
Some shirts were made privately or in small confidential groups and submitted to the Worcester County Clothesline Project (WCCP).
The Shrewsbury Clothesline Project was covered by WCUW 91.3 FM and the Shrewsbury Chronicle.
Many thanks to Saheli Domestic Violence Advocates, Rajoo and Jonjy Ananth, for representing Saheli at this year’s Clothesline Project event!