October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It is estimated that one in four women are survivors of domestic violence nationally. In addition three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been in a domestically violent relationship.
Statistics like these are a reminder of the importance of prevention education such as Response’s Clothesline Project.
The Clothesline Project was created in 1991 by a group of women who saw a need to memorialize survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Response has had its own Clothesline Project for close to 10 years.
The Clothesline Project is a visual, interactive presentation honoring survivors and remembering those who have died as a result of domestic/sexual violence. A clothesline is hung with multicolored t-shirts that have been decorated by survivors or in memory of individuals who have been abused.
When Response takes it to high schools and talks about the issues of sexual assault and dating, students are able to see how these issues affect everyone.
Response celebrated Impact Chicago’s 25th anniversary by bringing this program to their event. Impact Chicago is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to teaching women and girls self-defense “so they can prevent, minimize and stop violence.”
Following the viewing of the clothesline, trained facilitators debrief with youth in small groups. Individuals who are survivors of violence also have the opportunity to add to the Clothesline Project by creating and contributing a t-shirt. Clinical support from Response is always provided.
Response is a program of Jewish Child & Family Services.