5 of the most empowering t-shirts from Miami University's Clothesline Project

By Carolyne Croy

October is domestic violence awareness month, and Miami University's Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion hosted the eighteenth annual Clothesline Project on Oct. 3 and 4. Throughout the past seventeen years, Miami's women's center has hung t-shirts made by students, faculty, staff and community members to represent speaking out against interpersonal violence. The shirts are hung by the seal on Central Academic Quad, an area of campus where hundreds, if not thousands of students walk through each day. The display of bright t-shirts created by and in support of victims is impossible to miss.

T-shirts strung from tree to tree on Central Academic Quad

Each shirt represents a personal story about someone's experience with interpersonal violence. Rhonda Jackson, the administrative assistant for the Center of Student Diversity and Inclusion describes the shirts as a way to bring awareness and give a voice to a subject that is voiceless. She mentions that writing on the shirts can be the first step in the healing process for survivors and in her opinion, if the Clothesline Project can help one person in their healing process, it is a success. Here are five of the most empowering t-shirts displayed at this year's clothesline project.

A bloody female gender symbol

"MUPD told me that I should have tried harder."

"I took him to court. I lost. Why?"

A shirt simply reads "HELP ME"

"you took my childhood, my innocence, my trust...but you will never take my joy, my determination, my passion."

As students walked by the display, they were met by volunteers and asked to take a quick survey about what the Clothesline Project means to them. The survey took 30 seconds or less to complete which is convenient to a student walking from class to class.

Sexual assault has a growing presence on Miami's campus, with 75 total sex offenses occurring on campus from 2017-2018 according to the Oxford Campus Report on their website. Considering a great deal of sexual offenses aren't even reported, the Clothesline Project can serve as a reminder to those who are suffering silently that they aren't alone.

Members from other student organizations, such as Black Women Empowered (BWE) volunteered at the event to show support of the Clothesline Project. President of BWE, Taylor Selman, volunteered at the event saying it was important for women to show support for each other at public events like the Clothesline Project.

The 20 annual Clothesline Project will take place next October, but the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion hosts events throughout the year. Information surrounding future events can be found in the organization's lounge on the second floor of Armstrong Student Center.

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