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Clothesline Project expresses pain and power of violence survivors

October 7, 2003

According to a 2000 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 4.9 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated annually against American women.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Austin Peay will do its part to educate, break the silence and bear witness to such violence by participating in The Clothesline Project.

Founded in 1990, The Clothesline Project uses shirts, hanging on a clothesline, to tell the stories of women who have survived and victims who died at the hands of their abusers.
October 7, 2003

According to a 2000 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 4.9 million intimate partner rapes and physical assaults are perpetrated annually against American women.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Austin Peay will do its part to educate, break the silence and bear witness to such violence by participating in The Clothesline Project.

Founded in 1990, The Clothesline Project uses shirts, hanging on a clothesline, to tell the stories of women who have survived and victims who died at the hands of their abusers.

“The clothesline puts the pain that some people are experiencing into view,” says Dr. Jill Eichhorn, coordinator of APSU's women's studies program. “It brings the issues to the public's attention so they can't be ignored.”

Since 1996, APSU has collected more than 200 shirts designed by those who have endured violent acts and the families of those who were murdered. For many, it is the first time they have spoken about their life-altering experiences.

"It helps to heal those who have been traumatized by violence so they can regain their strength and be an equal in their relationships,” says Eichhorn.

With more than 500 clotheslines raised around the world each year, the pervasiveness of intimate partner violence and the call for societal change are apparent.

“The picture of violence is complex,” says Eichhorn. “If we focus on the golden ruledo unto others as you would have them do unto you—we will be able to work toward a society in which men and women respect one another as equals.”

Survivors of intimate violence and the families and friends of those who lost their lives are invited to come and create a t-shirt in APSU's Morgan University Center on Thursday, Oct. 30. Materials will be provided.

In addition, Eichhorn will present “More Than Surviving: A Chance to Heal and Find Community” at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 22 in Morgan University Center, Room 303. The program will include poetry, a film on surviving rape and an opportunity to make a t-shirt in a closed-room setting.

The event is free and open to anyone in the Clarksville or APSU community whose life has been impacted by intimate violence.

For more information regarding either event, telephone 6314.
Terry Stringer