STRATFORD, Conn. — During the Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, The Center for Family Justice is presenting The Clothesline Project, a poignant display of messages of support and empowerment painted on T-shirts by students at both of Stratford’s public high schools.
The project is one of several events the center will hold at Stratford Library as part of its Sexual Assault Awareness Month observances.
The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod in 1990 to address violence against women. Women impacted by violence were given T-shirts for decoration as a way of expressing their emotions in an anonymous, but powerful way.
They hung the T-shirts as a form of testimony on the problems of violence against women. The CLP has since become a worldwide phenomenon and CFJ has supported similar projects in Monroe and Trumbull.
For the Stratford version of The Clothesline Project, students at Bunnell and Stratford high schools were asked to paint T-shirts with messages of support and solidarity for victims and survivors of sexual abuse. Their work is on display at the library through the end of the month.
“Now, more than ever, these messages of support and empowerment from victims and survivors need to be heard,” said Debra Greenwood, the center’s president and CEO. “It is important for people impacted by sexual violence and abuse to know we stand with them.”
While the T-shirts are already on display, there will be an official viewing event on April 18. That evening also features “Audrie & Daisy,” an acclaimed documentary that examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two teens discover that sexual crimes against them have been caught on film.
The 6:30 p.m. film screening, which is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up, will be followed by a panel discussion with experts on the subject.
The center serves victims of sexual violence and abuse in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. For more information, visit www.CenterForFamilyJustice.org.