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September 21, 2023

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Project to raise awareness of domestic violence

The Clothesline Project will be coming to BG again to raise awareness for domestic violence this week.

The purpose of the event is to create a sense of awareness on campus and to honor victims and survivors while empowering those who have experienced sexual assault or domestic violence.

The SAAFE Center, Wood County’s Rape Crisis Center, created and is also putting on this event that will take place on Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Union Oval.

Multiple organizations have sponsored the Clothesline Project, but SAAFE reached out to The University to display the event on campus.

“This year, the project is sponsored through a service learning project in Dr. [Mary] Krueger’s Women’s Studies and Interpersonal Violence class,” said Lauren Lochotzki, a representative from SAAFE who is in charge of the project this year.

The project will show the realities of both domestic violence and sexual assault, said Emma Sales, a member of volunteer recruitment for the project and student at the University, in an email.

“I think it’s important to prepare yourself for a bit of a shock,” Sales said.

Sales became involved with the Clothesline Project through the Women and Interpersonal Violence course she is taking with Mary Krueger, director of Women’s Studies, this semester.

Her class was partnered with local advocacy centers and shelters for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Sales said.

During the event, women will see decorated shirts hung on a clothesline to represent different testimonies toward violence against women.

“We have over 800 shirts, which are considered works of art,” Lochotzki said.

There will be different shirt colors and each one will represent its own specific meaning.

The Clothesline Project was started in Hynnis, Massachusetts in 1990.

Since the project has been started, there have been Clothesline Projects in communities both nationally and internationally.

The Wood County Clothesline Project began in 1995.

“These issues are relevant in BG and at our University,” Sales said.

Other students on campus also view the project as a positive thing.

“I think this is a great event to give awareness to students on campus,” said senior Angel Akinkuoye. “I would actually love to be apart of this.”

The goal of the Clothesline Project is to educate, document, and raise society’s awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against women, Lochotzki said.

“Often times, talking about assault and violence are taboo topics,” Sales said,” but we need to stop hiding the issues and start shedding light on them.”

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