Events tomorrow mark Sexual Assault Awareness MonthApril is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Women’s Center at Tennessee Tech University is hosting a series of campus events tomorrow, April 3, to commemorate.
It will sponsor its annual display of the Clothesline Project from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Tech Pride Room of the Roaden University Center.
At noon in the same location, Jane Montgomery, who works at the local women’s shelter Genesis House, will give a short presentation titled, “Out of the Shadows: The Battle to End Sexual Assault.”
Both the Clothesline Project and the presentation are free and open to the public.
The Clothesline Project was established at TTU nearly 10 years ago, and each of its shirts represents a woman’s experience of abuse as presented by the survivor or by someone who cares about her, said Gretta Stanger, director of TTU’s Women’s Center.
By displaying so many individual stories on the clothesline, the project invokes a vivid presentation that recalls a time when women used to “speak of unspeakable things” over the backyard clothesline, Stanger said.
“The messages on some of the shirts are hard to forget, but the process of actually writing on a shirt is often an aid in the healing process for survivors and friends,” she said. “The net effect of seeing hundreds of shirts from our local area is a stark indicator of violence that leaves an impression that reaches far beyond that of just quoting statistics.”
The Clothesline Project provides awareness about hate crimes, sexual and domestic violence and child abuse, with shirts color-coded to represent the various forms of abuse.
Materials and shirts will be available at the display for anyone who may want to include their story on the clothesline.
At 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, the third annual Take Back the Night march and candlelight vigil will begin on the front steps of the RUC with a presentation by Verna Wyatt of the You Have the Power organization.
The march will end on the campus’ Main Quad, where talks by a representative of Genesis House and poetry readings will be presented and the candlelight vigil will be held. A reception sponsored by Student Activities will follow inside the RUC.
Throughout the month, Stanger said, the Women’s Center will feature informational displays on the first floor of the RUC. One will list 10 ways for communities to help prevent sexual violence, for example, while another provides information to help individuals build healthy relationships.