The Clothesline Project

“There are angels amongst us,” reads one of the t-shirts hanging from the ceiling of Kirby Plaza at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

This was just one of many messages portrayed on the t-shirts honoring the lives and legacies of women impacted by domestic violence.

“The Clothesline Project dates back to 1990 when members of Cape Cod Women’s Agenda hung a clothesline across the village green,” said Maria Miller, intern for Women’s Resource and Action Center.

Since that first display the project has grown. Today the project is both national and international with an estimated 5,000 shirts worldwide.

UMD held their annual Clothesline Project on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. in the T.V. Lounge (KSC 273).

“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” Nate Twedt, intern for Women’s Resource and Action Center, said.

“In the past, we have hung the t-shirts in Kirby Plaza and students have wondered why they are there and what they represent. Our goal for this year has been to provide students with more information,” Twedt said.

The shirts will be hung at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 3 and the Women’s Resource and Action Center will be tabling at 11a.m. They are hoping to table as long as they can.

“We will have extra t-shirts and art supplies at our table in case any student feels compelled to make a shirt,” Miller said.

Different color shirts represented different experiences for women. The color code goes as follows:

  • White represents women who were killed as a result of domestic violence.

  • Red represents women who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

  • Yellow represents women who have been battered.

  • Blue represents women survivors of incest/sexual abuse.

  • Purple represents women who were attacked because of sexual orientation.

  • Black represents women who were attacked for political reasons.

The Clothesline Project puts a human face on the statistics of violence against women.

“For me, it is about advocacy. Victims should be believed and supported,” Miller said.


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