Since 1998, the WCA has organized a local display of the Clothesline Project for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Project began in Hyannis, Massachusetts, to give a voice to victims and survivors of domestic violence and create a powerful public display of what is too often considered a private matter. Since 1990, it has grown dramatically, promoting awareness of the realities of domestic and sexual violence in communities and universities throughout the country. You can learn more about the national Clothesline Project here.
Each year, we invite participants in our RAP group for survivors of domestic abuse and their children to paint t-shirts portraying their experiences with violence, victimization, and healing, as an exercise in art therapy. With the painters’ permission, the WCA delivers clotheslines of these shirts to hang in businesses and organizations around Boise to raise awareness of the lasting impacts of domestic abuse in our community. Every year we are moved by the range of experiences our clients have shared on these shirts. The pain and fear, but also the hope and healing that they depict bear witness to the long, difficult road from abuse to freedom.
Be sure to keep an eye out for some of the 500 shirts we send around town every October! You’ll find them at the downtown Library, Big City Coffee, Flying M, Boise Bicycle Project, D.L. Evans, and Washington Trust Bank, just to name a few. The WCA also joins the BSU Women’s Center for an on-campus Clothesline Project during the month, with a 30-shirt clothesline display, WCA outreach table at the SUB patio, and an opportunity to make shirts in the Women’s Center lounge.
Many thanks to all of our friends and partners who have joined us in spreading awareness of domestic abuse. If you are interested in participating in the 2016 Project please email our Outreach Team or call the Outreach Coordinator Mary Haggerty at 208-343-3688 Ext. 23.