Shirt Contributions Sought for Triennial Clothesline Project

CHICAGO, IL (May 17, 2010) – Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) is looking for individuals to participate in the Clothesline Project – designed to aid in “Bearing Witness to Violence Against Women” – which will be displayed July 22-25 during Triennial XIII in Washington, D.C.

“The clothesline is a visual display that bears witness to the violence,” says AVA Director Yvonne DeVaughn. “During the public display, a clothesline is hung with shirts. Each shirt is decorated on both sides to represent a particular woman’s experience, by the survivor herself or by someone who cares about her.”

The project has four purposes, says DeVaughn: to bear witness to survivors and victims, to help with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one or are survivors, to raise awareness, and to help develop a nationwide network of support.

AVA’s Clothesline Project is part of a larger national movement. To see what other communities have done, click here. AVA is a ministry of the Department of Women Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

DeVaughn says women are asked to send decorated shirts made of durable material, preferably following this color code:

  • White for women who have died of violence
  • Yellow or beige for women who have been battered or assaulted
  • Red, pink or orange for women who have been raped or sexually assaulted
  • Blue or green for women who are survivors of incest or child sexual abuse

Because making a shirt is part of the healing process, shirts should be submitted by the survivor, says DeVaughn. “It that is not possible, a shirt for the survivor should be submitted with her written permission. We ask that you respect their anonymity by not using their first or last names or hometown.”

DeVaughn adds that while naming the perpetrator is part of the healing process, their full names cannot be displayed on the shirts due to legal ramifications. “We ask that shirt makers use first names or initials if they wish to name their violator.”

The deadline to send a shirt for the project is June 30. Shirts should be sent to DeVaughn at 665 W. Delray Drive, Casa Grande, AZ, 85122. For more information on the project, email DeVaughn.

Women can still register for Triennial XIII. Regular registration runs through May 31. Cost is $360 for individuals and $288 for groups of 10 or more. A late registration cost of $390 begins June 1 and continues through July 18. Click here for more information.

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