Sep 29, 2009

Clothesline Project brings awareness to domestic violence

by Amanda Baker

“Break the silence.” “Hands off.” “Women deserve respect.”

These slogans could be found on three of the many shirts that hung on clotheslines around the courtyard last Thursday. As a part of a national campaign, the Student Care Office (SCO) partnered with the Student Government Association (SGA) to organize the Clothesline Project, a program designed to bring awareness to women affected by domestic violence. For no charge, Liberty students could pick a shirt, decorate it with a picture or a slogan and hang it up to display their message.

The project was part of a community effort initiated by the Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV) for the 24th judicial district in the City of Lynchburg.

“Any woman who has experienced such violence ... is encouraged to come forward and design a shirt. Victims’ families and friends are also invited to participate,” according to

The two-hour event was co-sponsored by the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) and 90.9 The Light, which provided live coverage and music. Football team captains Mike Brown, Wes Check and Chris Rocco also came out to garner participation from students.

“This event motivated students to come out and be a voice against domestic violence. For some students, they may know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence. Students were able to speak out in a very creative way for a great cause,” SCO Life Skills Coordinator Janet Brown said.

All supplies were donated by area businesses. The decorated shirts were hung on clotheslines and then donated to the CADV for future displays. Another display will be coming back through campus in October.

Approximately 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year, and 13 percent of all women will be raped during their lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Women’s Study. In Virginia, 18.5 percent of adults experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime, according to the Virginia Department of Health. The purpose of the Clothesline Project is to bring awareness to the women behind these statistics, and to inspire action by legislature and communities to combat domestic violence.

More information about the Clothesline Project can be found at For further help on campus, please contact the SCO at

Contact Amanda Baker at

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