Women Survivors of Violence Invited to Participate in Clothesline Project

Women who survived violence are invited to share their story by creating a shirt that represents their experience for "The Clothesline Project," a public display that humanizes the statistics of violence against women.

Shirts submitted by local survivors, together with about 100 shirts from San Antonio and Corpus Christi Clothesline Projects, will be displayed at Texas A&M International University on Monday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 4 from 12 noon - 7 p.m., with an opening day ceremony Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. Shirts will hang on clotheslines strung across the grounds of the University to symbolize that the display "airs society's dirty laundry."

Event organizer Gabriela Mendoza-Garcia, associate director of Student Development at A&M International, said the University sponsors the local Clothesline Project because it educates, documents, and raises awareness.

"The Clothesline Project increases awareness of the impact of violence against women. It also celebrates a woman's strength to survive, and provides an avenue for survivors to courageously break their silence," explained Mendoza-Garcia.

She noted that the process of creating a shirt for the Project helps the healing process for survivors and for people who have lost a loved one to this type of violence.

Shirts, blouses or t-shirts submitted for The Clothesline Project should be made of durable material and, if possible, should follow the color-coding system established by the Project to signify different acts of violence on women: white shirts for women who died from acts of violence against them.; yellow or beige for women who have been battered or assaulted; red, pink or orange shirts for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted; and blue or green shirts for women who are survivors of incest or child sexual abuse. The color code is not mandatory, particularly if a different color or pattern has a special significance for the woman.

Shirts can be created using permanent paints, markers, embroidery, stitchery, or other embellishments. Shirts can be simple or elaborate.

"You don't need to be an artist to create a moving personal tribute. The beauty of this project comes from remembrance and the process of healing and recovery," said Mendoza-Garcia.

Shirts for a survivor should be submitted by the survivor herself or by a friend or family member with the survivor's written permission To respect the survivor's privacy, only first names or initials should be used on submitted shirts. For legal reasons, the submitted shirts may display only the perpetrator's first name or initials.

Shirts for women who died from violence may be submitted by friends or relatives. These shirts should have the woman's name, date of birth and death, hometown, and any other pertinent information about her death. A shirt worn by the victim may be used, if desired.

Shirts should be submitted to A&M International's Office of Public Affairs located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library room 268, prior to the event.

All submitted shirts become the property of the Laredo Clothesline Project and will not be returned.

For more information on The Clothesline Project at A&M International April 3-4, please contact the University's Office of Public Affairs at 326-2180. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Additional information may also be obtained by email at pais@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu