Clothesline Project fights sexual assault on campus

COURTESY OF DANIELLE PITKOFF The T-shirts had captions that advocate against sexual assault culture.

The T-shirts had captions that advocate against sexual assault culture.

For The News-Letter

The Clothesline Project was displayed outside the Fresh Food Café (FFC) on Thursday. The Sexual Assault Resource Unit (SARU), the Hopkins Feminists and the Center for Health, Education, & Wellness (CHEW) collaborated on the project.

The Clothesline Project is a display of shirts with messages and illustrations that have been created by women who have survived violence or by someone who was close to a murdered woman who was a victim of sexual violence. The Project was created to increase awareness of violence against women and the lifelong impact it leaves. The movement also celebrates strength and gives women an outlet to break the taboo and silence that surround sexual violence experiences.
SARU Public Relations Director Danielle Pitkoff spoke about the project.

“It was a collaboration between Hopkins Feminists, SARU and CHEW, but it’s a national project. I believe this is the first time we have done this here at Hopkins, but we hope to continue it as an ongoing project where we would be able to save the shirts we have now and continue adding,” she said.

Leading up to the display, there were safe space workshops where anyone was welcome to come and create shirts for the line. The three organizations worked to provide T-shirts so that people could express what they wanted.

Trigger warning signs were placed all around the display in order to warn viewers of messages that could be emotionally distressing.

According to the Project’s official website, as of 2001, “Clotheslines” can be found in over 500 communities and several foreign countries.

“Having a physical display on our campus not only promotes awareness, but also serves as a memorial and a type of healing aid to survivors and those who have been affected by sexual and intimate partner violence,” Pitkoff wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

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