T-shirts from The Clothesline Project will be on display at Rose Harbour. Photo submitted

T-shirts from The Clothesline Project will be on display at Rose Harbour. Photo submitted

Powerful display marks Prevention of Violence Against Women Week

Airing society ’s ‘dirty laundry’ and taking the issue of violence against women out of the shadows

The community is invited to the Spirit Square Thursday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to view The Clothesline Project – a powerful display of decorated T-shirts created by people who have been affected by abuse.

The Clothesline Project, which began in the U.S. in 1990, is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a T-shirt. The shirt is then hung on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. It’s a display of society ’s ‘dirty laundry’ that aims to take the issue of violence against women out of the shadows. In Campbell River, there is also an annual display called ‘These Hands Don’t Hurt’ where non-abusive males trace their hands on a white sheet in support of this cause.

The Clothesline Project takes place in communities all over the world and it is hosted locally by the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society. All members of the community are invited to view the Clothesline Project and the opportunity to decorate a T-shirt to hang on the clothesline.

Decorated T-shirts may be a statement against any kind of violence, or a statement of hope for the future. Blue and red T-shirts represent sexual abuse, yellow or beige T-shirts represent abuse by a partner, white T-shirts represent murder, purple T-shirts represent assault because of sexual orientation and green T-shirts represent children who have been affected by violence.

Throughout Prevention of Violence Against Women Week, T-shirts will also be displayed on the balconies and public areas of Rose Harbour, the second-stage housing provided by the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society on Dogwood Street.

The Clothesline Project and Prevention of Violence Against Women Week (April 10 – April 16) is an opportunity for the community to take a stand against violence against women. Living violence-free is every woman’s basic human right, but studies show that 760,000 or four per cent of Canadians over the age of 15 have experienced abuse from an intimate partner. Women are more likely than men to experience severe and frequent violence from a spouse or someone they are dating.

If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone who is in an abusive relationship, confidential help is available at:

Ann Elmore Transition House: 250-286-3666

Community-Based Victim Services: 250-287-2421

Campbell River Women’s Centre: 250-287-3044

North Island Survivor’s Healing Society: 250-287-3325

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