As part of its efforts to put a stop to violence against women and break the silence, the Healing Center, dedicated to intervention and prevention of family violence and abuse, presented the Clothesline Project on Saturday, October 20 at the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church, featuring a display of shirts designed by survivors of domestic and sexual violence and in memory of those who have died because of it.
Beyond the visual interpretations of the issue, the event featured young people performing songs and spoken word poetry addressing the issue of violence against women. In addition, there was an information table offering support for those who experience such violence.
Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Healing Center NY Antonia Clemente praised “the survivors who shared their stories,” as well as witnesses “who had a story to tell.
“It’s their stories and our stories,” she stressed.
In a statement, The Healing Center explained, “The Clothesline Project was originally designed to help break the silence on gender-based violence giving survivors a chance to share their stories. Women who have been affected by violence are invited to decorate a t-shirt with words and pictures to express their experiences. The shirts are then displayed anonymously in a public space, allowing members of the community a chance to come together in support and solidarity.”
Attendees wrote statements on their shirts, including “Stop, don’t hurt us,” “Abuse is abuse whether you see it or not,” “It was not my fault,” and “Just cuz he was drink it’s not excused.”
The goal is to spread the message, and share the stories, around the neighborhood. “wherever we need to share them,” added Clemente.
It was Ridgeite Danielle Bullock who presented Clemente with the idea of doing the Clothesline Project.
“I was familiar with it, but not really in depth,” Clemente said, adding, “I know it’s only the beginning. We’re just getting started.
“As we look at what’s going on in our world today, with victims and survivors coming forward to tell their stories, we are in a time when those stories are not believed and are laughed at,” Clemente went on. “We know the truth. We are going to continue raising our voices, tell the stories and be present.”
The Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church is located at 6753 Fourth Avenue.