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Northwest’s Green Dot coordinator Benjamin Moran hangs shirts comprising the Clothesline Project at the base of the Memorial Bell Tower Friday. The display, which raises awareness for violence prevention, will continue through Oct. 15. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest’s Green Dot coordinator Benjamin Moran hangs shirts comprising the Clothesline Project at the base of the Memorial Bell Tower Friday. The display, which raises awareness for violence prevention, will continue through Oct. 15. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Oct. 1, 2021

Clothesline project, events bring awareness to domestic violence

By Kourtnie Stenwall, communication assistant

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The “Clothesline Project,” a visual arts display sponsored by Northwest Missouri State University’s Green Dot program is spreading messages of violence prevention in conjunction with the University’s commemoration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Clothesline Project was founded in 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to create awareness of violence against women and as a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are hung on a clothesline in public view as testimony to the issue of violence against women.

The shirts displayed at the base of Northwest’s Memorial Bell Tower include messages like “No one has to do everything, but every Bearcat has to do something,” “reach out, speak up” and “be here, be you because you belong.” Messages on the shirts are written to tell a story, inspire hope and bring light to someone’s strength.

Each shirt color represents a different type of violence. White represents knowing someone who died because of sexual assault or violence; yellow represents a survivor of domestic abuse or battery; red, orange and pink represent rape or childhood abuse; blue and green represent incest or childhood trauma; brown and grey represent a survivor of emotional, spiritual or verbal abuse; black represents an attack because of a disability or a disability because of an attack; and purple represents an attack because of sexual orientation.

“The reality is a majority of violence and assault victims won’t come forward, and on college campuses that’s even higher,” Benjamin Moran, Northwest’s Green Dot coordinator, said. “The hope is that if you’re a survivor or an ally that the Clothesline Project can get someone who may be experiencing or may have experienced assault or violence to speak up.”

People are invited to create a shirt by following the steps on signs placed near the Memorial Bell Tower. The display continues through Oct. 15.

The initiative aligns with Northwest’s Green Dot program, which the University launched in fall 2015. It is a federally supported bystander intervention program intended to help reduce incidents of stalking, partner violence and sexual assault. The initiative is based on a national violence-prevention strategy that advocates for community members playing a role in creating a non-violent culture and safe campus.

About one in 12 students experienced physical dating or sexual violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Coalition against Domestic Violence found women between the ages of 18 and 24 are at an increased risk to experience abuse by an intimate partner.

“Domestic violence is happening, but if we’re not talking about it, it’s able to just hide under the rug and continue to happen,” Moran said. “When we bring out a problem and talk about violence, assault, we can start to change that culture and campus norm.”

Northwest encourages individuals who want to talk or share experiences of domestic or sexual violence to contact Counseling Services at 660.562.1348.

A listing of other activities at Northwest to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month is provided below.

North Star Advocacy Center Donation Drive

Monday, Oct. 4, to Wednesday, Oct. 6; J.W. Jones Student Union in Office of Student Involvement and The Station

North Star Advocacy Center in collaboration with the Student Activities Council has placed donation bins in the Office of Student Involvement and The Station for people to donate items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper goods and other household items. The North Star Advocacy Center provides a safe place for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while working to influence cultural change.

SAC Presents: “Why I Stayed,” Beverly Gooden

7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6; Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building in Charles Johnson Theater

Beverly Gooden, activist and advocate for survivors of relationship violence, will present a lecture, “Why I Stayed,” breaking down myths and misconceptions of domestic violence. Gooden’s message will highlight the importance of speaking up and stopping victim-blaming. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Purple Ribbon Campaign

Monday, Oct. 4 to Friday, Oct. 8

The Purple Ribbon Campaign is a campus-wide initiative organized by It’s On Us to spread awareness of domestic violence and connect people who support survivors or have been affected by violence. It’s On Us will distribute purple ribbons on campus to individuals who want to display their allyship.

Green Dot Bystander Training

1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16; J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom

The Green Dot Bystander Training is an interactive training method to educate participants of the components of being an active bystander. Attendees will learn the importance of power-based personal violence, warning signs of violence, resources and statistics.

Interested individuals should register by clicking this link. For more information about Northwest’s Green Dot program, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/wellness/greendot/.

It’s On Us Week of Action

Monday, Oct. 18, through Friday, Oct. 22

It’s On Us sponsors a week of events to highlight resources, statistics and the history of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Events will include sidewalk chalk, tabling and yard sign campaigns. On Thursday, Oct. 21, the Northwest community is invited to participate in #PurpleThursday, wearing purple to show they stand with those affected by domestic violence.


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704