Clothesline project honors sexual assault victims

By Marissa Warden

T-shirts designed to bear the witness of violence against women hung on a clothesline in Bateman plaza on Tuesday as part of violence against women awareness month. The event is part of a national campaign, The Clothesline Project, which started in the Fall of 1990. Their goal is to bear witness to the survivors and victims of violence against women, help with the healing process, educate and raise awareness of the extent of the problem.

The white t-shirts decorated to commemorate individual survivors and victims of violence against women were rented from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women in St. Paul.

“The shirts are meant to honor or give testimony to sexual abuse,” said Evelyn Balsells ’12, a volunteer. “All of the shirts tell a different story.”

Lisa Landerman, associate dean of students commented that the Clothesline Project “provides a space for women to heal and see that they aren’t alone. It’s creates empowerment and solidarity.”

The idea for this project came from a sexual assault prevention committee and a group of students from the men can stop rape training according to Landerman. Though it’s the first year that Macalester has sponsored the event, the college hopes to make it an annual project.

Macalester also sponsored an expressions through art project and a poetry slam to redefine masculinity as part of the Violence Against Women Awareness month. On April 26, the Sexual Offense Services is sponsoring Out of Darkness Into Light, a walk for survivors of sexual abuse.