A clothesline with more than 100 T-shirts fluttered in the breeze at Minto Park yesterday, each shirt bearing a message about sexual assault and violence against women.
May is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Clothesline Project is aimed at “airing the dirty laundry” about abuse, which can often go unreported. The T-shirts have been painted with personal statements, some angry, others hopeful, from women and children who have survived violence.
Organizer Valerie Collicott of the Women’s Events network said that the idea of the event was to bring discussion of violence against women into the open.
“What we want to do is give public exposure to the issue and we really want to bring it out in your face,” she said, “because it’s an issue that we don’t want to keep hidden behind closed doors.”
Collicott said reactions of passersby to the Clothesline Project display and its sensitive subject matter vary widely.
“Some people are OK with it and other people are quite uncomfortable,” she said. “And we understand that because it’s not an easy issue for anybody to deal with, but we all have to. We all have the responsibility to stop this violence and we can stop it if we all work together.”