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Clothesline Project bears witness to violence, offering healing and hope
Morgen Sedlacek hangs a t-shirt.Morgen Sedlacek, from the Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa City, helps to hang one of nearly 400 t-shirts on display at the Old Capitol Town Center as part of the Clothesline Project.

Almost 400 t-shirts locally created by victims and survivors of violence are displayed in the Old Capitol Town Center through 3 p.m. today, Tuesday, April 29, as part of the Clothesline Project. The exhibit is a visual display bearing witness to violence against people of all genders. It is hosted by the Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP) as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The messages conveyed by the t-shirts are deeply personal and emotional, ranging from expressions of raw anger and rage to healing and hope.

"We hope the display brings hope and comfort to some while also educating and empowering," says Mary Perdomo, RVAP educational coordinator. "It's a way to acknowledge the profound pain, loss, and trauma experienced by victims and survivors of sexual violence while also offering support and encouragement that there is a way through the pain."

Perdomo adds that the Clothesline Project is an opportunity to let people know about the resources and support available for victims and survivors of sexual violence. RVAP staff and volunteers are available during the entire display to answer questions.

The display features shirts designed by victims/survivors of sexual abuse, with the following color code: white—persons who have died because of violence; yellow and beige—battered or assaulted victims/survivors; red, orange and pink—rape or sexual abuse victims/survivors; green and blue—incest or child sexual abuse victims/survivors; and purple and lavender—people who have been attacked because of their sexual orientation.

Shirts are also created by friends and family to honor individuals who have died at the hands of abusers.

To read a related story, visit Educating and empowering.


Tim Schoon, University Communication and Marketing


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