Art as Activism Provokes Domestic Violence Awareness

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVa is calling attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month with its “Art as Activism/ Art for Healing” initiatives.

On Tuesday from 10 am to 2 pm, representatives from the Center will be on the lower lawn outside of Cocke Hall facilitating some of the programs and providing information about domestic violence.

One of the events is the Red Flag Campaign, which has gone on for about ten years. This campaign is focused on college-aged students who have dealt with abusive relationships.

The purpose of this campaign is to spread healthy relationship norms and raise awareness of the matter. It is estimated that one in five college students experience dating violence.

Students are encouraged to write either a warning sign of an unhealthy relationship or a positive feature of a healthy couple on a red flag and then plant it in the lower lawn. This campaign also emphasizes the importance of bystander intervention.

Another event is the Clothesline Project in which students are able to make a t-shirt with a message that raises public awareness to the different types of abuse. Students can make the t-shirts at the table at the lower lawn and then pin them up on the clothesline.

“The Clothesline Project has been around since the 1990s and is a way for survivors of gender-based violence to convey a message,” said Claire Kaplan, the director of the Gender Violence and Social Change Program at the Women’s Center.

The Traveling Postcards workshop is an effort to promote healing by bringing comfort and compassion to survivors of gender-based violence. Participants can decorate a postcard with words of encouragement to help survivors understand they are not alone.

There will be two sessions on Tuesday for the workshop. One will start at 3 pm at the Women’s Center, which is temporarily located in the basement of Emmett Dorm. Another will be from 7-9 pm at OpenGrounds.

All are welcome to participate in these events.

“Emotional manipulation and put down are part of abuse too. Emotional abuse is a violation of University policy and there are resources for people in those situations,” said Kaplan. “Abusive Relationships can happen in any kind of relationship–heterosexual, same sex, married, un-married.”

Claire Kaplan is a confidential advocate and students can come talk to her with any questions or concerns.

For more information about the Center, click here.


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