Location — The Clothesline Project

Walking around College Ave, I wasn’t too sure what exactly I was looking for. I had to find something that would help support my beat of domestic violence, and short of going to a center that was a drive away, I was coming up blank with where I could possibly go. Luckily, the answer literally fell into my lap. I was walking out of class on Thursday to take observations on human interaction for an assignment when I came across the Clothesline Project. The area in which this project was held, outside of Voorhees, is what I chose as my location. Some background: the Clothesline Project is run by the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance and was made to bring light to the many forms of interpersonal violence that can occur in the lives of those around us or even ourselves. It’s meant to empower and also inform the survivors or friends of those who have suffered. The area was squared off by lines of string, secured tightly around tree trunks. From these 4 or 5 lines of string, t-shirts of every color were hanging by clothespins.

There was a station set up near the steps of Voorhees Hall and students/faculty were pacing around the tables, either working on shirts or describing the program. It was during a class period that I was viewing the display, so it was relatively quiet and subdued outside which I believe helped amplify the experience of the project- especially when I started reading the shirts that were hanging. Every individual shirt had the story of someone who experienced abuse/witnessed abuse/or had words for those in similar situations. There were simple ones, reading “She said NO” to lengthier ones, condemning victim’s abusers and promoting strength and healing. I thought they were extremely moving, and as a result of the set up, it felt like I was being surrounded by these stories. It also helped get the point across that abuse can happen to anyone, and it can be all around us.