Ashlyn Curley – 1851 Staff
From October 24 to 26, different colored T-shirts hung on display outside Valentine Dining Hall. The display, known as The Clothesline Project, was sponsored by the Justice Studies Department and the Domestic Violence Advocacy and Prevention Club to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence.
The Clothesline Project, founded in 1990 on Cape Cod, was displayed outside the Dining Hall as a tradition for Domestic Violence month in October. Although the project is originally aimed towards violence against women, Lasell’s project is geared towards domestic violence in general. “Domestic violence does not discriminate against gender,” said Kristen Silvia, president of the Domestic Violence Advocacy and Prevention Club.
Silvia believes domestic violence is an issue on college campuses. “The statistics are shocking,” said Silvia. “One-third of people [ages] 16-24 are victims of intimate partner violence.”
Different types of violence are represented using different colored shirts. White represents those who died due to violence. Red, pink, or orange are for survivors of rape and sexual assault. Blue and green represent survivors of incest and sexual abuse. Yellow or beige represent someone who has been battered or assaulted. Purple shirts represent people who are attacked because of their sexual orientation.
“I think The Clothesline Project had a profound impact on students,” said Silvia. “Every year I have students come up to me afterwards and tell me how much it affected them and how they look forward to seeing it every year.”
The Domestic Violence Advocacy and Prevention Club and the Justice Studies Department find it important for students to be aware of domestic and relationship violence, and The Clothesline Project illustrates the issue.
“The project brings light to the issue of relationship violence, and how it impacts all people and populations,” said Linda Bucci, professor and chair of the Justice Studies Department. “It encourages the students to become knowledgeable about the issue and be able to support their friends, family and peers in some way as ‘active helping bystanders’ when abuse touches people in their lives.”
“Being an active bystander means not putting yourself in danger, but standing up and speaking up when you see something,” said Silvia. “It means getting support and back up if you see something that may not seem right. It’s all about being safe, and being part of the Lasell community and helping each other out.”
Silvia says speaking up about violence is important for people who need help. “If you need help, you are not alone. There are resources on campus that can help you,” she said. “Talk to your professors. Talk to a member of the Domestic Violence Advocacy and Prevention Club. Talk to the counseling center, Campus Police, or even your resident assistants. But talk, because if you speak up here, there will be someone to help you.”