UVa Women’s Center Launches Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVa is holding events throughout October in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

This week, the Women’s Center’s Gender Violence and Social Change Program launched the Red Flag Campaign and Clothesline Project to call attention to different forms of abuse and emphasize that survivors are not alone.

Photo courtesy Aurora Calderone
Photo courtesy Aurora Calderone

“Abuse can be big or small, and it can be really hard to recognize,” said second-year Triston Smith. “Sometimes people do not realize they are being abusive.”

Students recorded signs of unhealthy relationships on red flags and then placed them in the grass of the South Lawn. Shirts created by survivors likewise hung on a clothesline to raise awareness.

The Clothesline Project began in 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to highlight the violence that women in abusive relationships faced. UVa started its own program in 1993.

“It is where survivors of all forms of abuse create shirts to process their experience. Each shirt color symbolizes a different form of abuse. For example, red is sexual assault and yellow is intimate partner violence,” said fourth-year Damaris Paris.

“The Clothesline is an artistic way [for survivors] to get their emotions out there,” said Smith.

Anyone can contribute a shirt to the Clothesline Project at any time of the year. T-shirts are on display for Domestic Violence Awareness Month and sometimes in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Male survivors can provide shirts for the collection as well.

The Women’s Center is also offering a screening of “Audrie & Daisy,” at Open Grounds at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 13th. This documentary tells the story of two girls who were sexually assaulted.

On the 18th, students can come together at 5:30 pm in the Newcomb Ballroom to make care boxes for survivors of sexual assault at the University.

Counselors will also offer free, confidential consultations at the Women’s Center on the 21st to provide support for victims and check in with students involved in healthy relationships.

The Women’s Center is located next to Open Grounds across from the Corner. For more information on other events and resources, visit the Women’s Center website: http://womenscenter.virginia.edu/


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