What happens behind closed doors shouldn’t necessarily stay behind
The Clothesline Project is a national organization born in Cape Cod, Mass. in the early 1990’s to support those facing and those who have survived domestic violence and other forms of abuse.
Boise State’s Women’s Center is participating in Clothesline Project by collaborating with several organizations, including Idaho Coalition and the Women and Children’s Alliance. The purpose of the project is to provide information and support concerning domestic violence for Boise State students and the public.
The Clothesline Project will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 on the Student Union patio and in the Women’s Center (second floor in the Student Union Building).
Student organizers at the Women’s Center said they want other students to know both men and women fall victim to domestic abuse and there are resources which can provide support and assistance.
Amanda Griffin, sophomore history and political science major, is helping to put on the Clothesline Project event on campus and said she hopes victims and those who know of victims will take this opportunity to utilize resources to assist those going through this abuse.
“I hope that students will see that it’s there and there’s something they can do to help people,” Griffin said. “It’s not necessarily about stepping in and getting the person out, but just supporting the person and getting them resources and letting people know this is happening in our community and letting survivors know we’re there for them.”
As part of the Clothesline Project, survivors and their supporters are welcome to make T-shirts with messages that could describe their story, their healing, or other personal testaments concerning domestic violence and other forms of abuse including economic, psychological and child abuse.
The Women and Children’s Alliance will also have a counselor stationed in the Women’s Center to offer guidance as the participants create their shirts. Griffin explains the message T-shirts are a form of expression and writing these experiences aids in the healing process.
“Talking about it helps; it really does,” Griffin said. “It’s telling your story and letting others know that you survived and letting others know that it happens, because especially when a subject isn’t talked about there’s a lot of pressure put on the survivors and they feel that they’re alone. This is letting them know that there are other people out there who are there for them.”
According to Griffin and co-student organizer Jaclyn Perez, senior English literature major, domestic violence is one of those “taboo topics” in society. Griffin explained the T-shirts symbolize dirty laundry and making a T-shirt is “airing out” this issue. Perez added this allows the public to see what’s going on.
“A lot of people think that this is something that doesn’t happen commonly or at all within the Treasure Valley area,” Perez said. “Unfortunately, it does. This is one way that the Boise State community is showing support for survivors and showing that we have resources out there; also letting everyone else know that this is something that is prevalent in our community that people should step up and speak up and be able to be that supporting friend for someone who might be going through this.”
Griffin and Perez encourage students and other participants to seek information in the Women’s Center if they can’t make it to the Clothesline Project Event to either stop by the Women’s Center or visit their website: womenscenter.boisestate.edu.