The Clothesline Project

information provided from dvam.vawnet

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to the violence against women and children. The Clothesline Project comprises T-shirts designed by survivors of abuse and those who have lost loved ones to it. The shirts are hung on a clothesline display to:

  • Honor survivors and memorialize victims
  • Help with the healing process for survivors and people who have lost a loved one to violence
  • Educate, document, and raise society’s awareness of about the crimes of violence against women and children

What the Shirts Represent

Shirts that hang on The Clothesline represent a wide spectrum of abuse. Although each shirt is unique, a common color coding is generally used to represent the different dimensions of violence against women and children:

  • WHITE for women and children who have died as a result of domestic violence
  • YELLOW or BEIGE for women and children who have been battered or assaulted
  • RED, PINK or ORANGE for women and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted
  • BLUE or GREEN for women and children survivors of incest
  • PURPLE or LAVENDER for women and children attacked because of their sexual orientation/identification

The History of the Project
The Clothesline Project originated with 31 shirts in Hyannis, MA, in 1990 through the Cape Cod Women’s Agenda. A small group of women – many of whom had experienced violence in their own lives – designed the visual monument to help transform staggering statistics about violence against women and children into a powerful educational and healing tool.

They decided to use a clothesline after discussing how many women in close-knit neighborhoods have traditionally exchanged information over backyard fences while hanging laundry out to dry.

The Clothesline Project breaks the silence about violence against women and children by giving a voice to survivors and victims. Since 1990, hundreds of Clotheline Projects have emerged nationwide and abroad, resulting in tens of thousands of shirt designs.

To find out more information, contact:

The Clothesline Project
P.O. Box 654
Brewster, MA 02631

Information taken from The Clothesline Project Overview (1994) Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence/National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

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