Speak out Teach everyone Observe Protect
“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.” ― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children
For many years now, Georgia Southern University has brought healing and awareness to those affected by violence through facilitation of the Clothesline Project. This project is a week-long advocacy campaign during Sexual Assault Awareness and Safe Spring Break Week. You’ll notice t-shirts designed by survivors of violence hung up among various locations on campus including the Russell Union and the lobby of the RAC. You may decorate a t-shirt at no cost and with no questions asked.
The Clothesline Project is a national campaign which has been bearing witness to violence in our community for over two decades. The movement is vehicle for allowing survivors to tell their own story in a very unique way; using words and/or artwork to decorate their shirt. This very action serves many purposes. It acts as an awareness and educational tool for those who come to view the Clothesline. It becomes a healing tool for survivors who participant and finally, it allows those who are still suffering in silence to understand that they are not alone.
The colors of each t-shirt signifies the following experience:
Pink = Survivor of Rape
Yellow = Survivor of Domestic Violence
Blue = Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse
Purple = Violence due to Sexual Orientation
White = In Honor of a Murdered Victim
Just to put these causes in perspective for you….. According to the National Center for Victims on Crime; 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse and 3 out of 4 adolescents were victimized by someone they knew well. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women and men each year. According to RAINN, every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that lesbian women and gay men reported equal or higher levels of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence when compared to heterosexuals. Finally, homicide is the second leading cause of death for males ages 15- 24 years of age and is the fourth leading cause of death for females of the same age group.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an experience of violence please seek HELP. Realize that you are not alone. Change and Community Empowerment starts with you. End the silence, STOP the Violence.
Be sure to keep up with The University Wellness Program on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with programs, and laugh at pictures from this awesome event!