Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhibit spreads awareness about the impacts of domestic violence

By Skylar Finkelstein
Cardinal Staff

The Clothesline Exhibit promoting awareness of domestic violence left a lasting impression on viewers while it was on display in Saint Mary’s McEnery Center as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The exhibit displays shirts for women killed by domestic violence. The shirt creates a lasting memorial by stating the victim’s name, date of birth, date of death and hometown as well as a symbol of representation or interest dear to her.

Another main purpose of the Clothesline Exhibit is to support all survivors and help with the healing process.  Survivors are honored and encouraged to make a shirt herself as part of the healing process.

In addition to including information about the women on the shirts, a brief summary of each woman’s life is attached to the shirt.  It highlights each woman’s uniqueness, making the shirt come alive.

The color of the shirts displayed is especially significant. Each color has its own meaning: white represents women who have died from domestic violence; yellow or beige symbolizes women who have been assaulted or battered; red, pink or orange signifies women who have been sexually assaulted or raped; blue or green represent survivors of childhood sexual abuse or incest; and purple or lavender embodies women who have been attacked because of their sexual orientation.

This is a silent witness exhibit, meaning it is a traveling memorial honoring all women who have died because of violence.  It touches the heart because it tells true stories of domestic violence. Since 1993, this exhibit has allowed victims to share their stories with the world.

Domestic Violence Project, Incorporation, heads the Clothesline Exhibit. The four goals of the exhibit form its core values and mission: “to honor the victims who were murdered in acts of domestic violence, raise awareness of the extent of domestic violence in Stark County, help connect people with local resources for ending the violence in their lives and to encourage community and legislative action to end the violence in our society.”

If you know any woman whose life was lost to domestic violence and wish to honor her or support a survivor, please participate in the Clothesline Exhibit by creating a shirt and memory. Shirts can be mailed to the Domestic Violence Project, Inc. at post office box 9432 in Canton, Ohio, 44711.

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