Virginia Tech’s Clothesline Project is a visual testimony to the shattering effects of violence against women and its impact on society.
Survivors of violence as well as friends and family members of victims are invited to emblazon T-shirts with messages and illustrations that represent their experience from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 28 through April 1 at the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech on 206 Washington St. The women’s center provides a quiet, confidential environment for those who wish to create a Clothesline Project T-shirt, and all materials are supplied free of charge.
The T-shirts will be displayed on a clothesline on the Drillfield from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 30 to 31, or in Squires Student Center in the event of rain.
According to Susan Anderson, senior instructor in mathematics in the College of Science and faculty advisor for the Womanspace student organization, the display demonstrates the pain and suffering of the survivors, aids in their healing process, and celebrates their strength and courage to overcome the past.
The colors of the T-shirts represent the type of violence women endured: white for those who died as a result of violence; yellow or beige for women who have been battered or assaulted; red, pink, or orange for those raped or sexually assaulted; blue or green for survivors of incest or child sexual abuse; purple or lavender for women attacked because of their sexual orientation; and black for women handicapped by violence.
The Clothesline Project is an effort to educate the public about the scope of violence against women and the impact it has on individuals, their families and friends, and the community. The project encourages survivors to come forward to break the silence by sharing their stories.
This local Clothesline Project was initiated in 1994 by the Montgomery County chapter of the National Organization for Women. More than 500 shirts made by New River Valley residents have been created for past events.
Local sponsors include the Montgomery County National Organization for Women, Womanspace, the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, and the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley.
For more information, e-mail Anderson or contact her by phone at (540) 231-8041.