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Awareness Projects

What is the Clothesline Project?

The Clothesline Project is a visual exhibit created to bring awareness to the issue of domestic and sexual violence, and the t-shirts are the stories of those experiences. T-shirts decorated with messages and illustrations designed by survivors, their loved ones, and allies to represent the experience of interpersonal violence in their life. This project is a creative outlet for survivors to write their stories. The color of each shirt represents a different type of violence. Shirts decorated with stories and messages of support are viewed on a clothesline. The exhibition intends to honor survivors and act as a memorial for victims.

The project increases awareness of the impact of violence and abuse, honors survivors' strength to continue and provides another avenue for them to break the silence that often surrounds their experience. Beacon Center is proud to announce the beginning of our Clothesline Project in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2022. Our Clothesline Project will utilize paper t-shirts that are decorated and displayed. On April 28, 2022, we will have our first public viewing as part of our Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event. The Clothesline Project will have a permanent home on our website, sharing its message year-round.

We welcome anonymous contributions from the residents of Beacon Center’s coverage area of Clark, Codington, Deuel, Grant, and Hamlin counties. We will display your t-shirt on the Beacon Center Clothesline Project web page and on public displays with your permission. Suppose you would like to submit your t-shirt design for healing purposes and prefer for it not to be displayed. When submitting your shirt, you can indicate your preference below on the form.


Submissions to the Clothesline Project will be ongoing for survivors, their loved ones, and allies to share their stories and support one another.


History of the Clothesline Project

The first Clothesline Project originated in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in 1990. A Cape Cod Women's Defense Agenda member learned that 58,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War. During the same time, a shocking 51,000 women in the United States were killed by the men who claimed to love them. 


This statistic motivated the Women's Group to create a program that would speak up and reveal the issue of violence against women. Visual Artist Rachel Carey-Harper thought of hanging color-coded t-shirts on a clothesline in a public place to gain recognition for the subject and started the Clothesline Project that has grown worldwide. 


Content Warning: 

The images displayed are the stories of those impacted by violence. Some shirts share details of traumatic experiences; please be aware of your own well-being and take the time to process how these images may affect you. Beacon Center staff are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-660-8014.

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