Students Take a Stand to Bring Awareness to Sexual Violence

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, UWG students are participating in The Clothesline Project by painting t-shirts with messages addressing the issue of violence against women. The shirts are displayed throughout the week along center campus on a clothesline visible for students. Shirts are available for painting until Thursday, April 4 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. near Starbucks.

“It has been very touching and impactful to see students openly and seriously pause to think before they painted on the color-coded shirt of their choice,” said Elizabeth Butts, health and wellness promotion coordinator. “For those students walking by, it has been very impressive to see how many have stopped to read the messages that have often led to conversations about the serious issue of violence against women, rape and sexual assault.”

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted every two minutes and 54 percent of sexual assaults are never reported to the police.

“The important message there is to remove the barriers and fear factors associated with seeking help,” said Butts. “As sexual assaults have been reported this year and even charges pressed, all students need to be increasingly aware of the life changing choices that can be made under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Students need to know that they can call UWG Campus Police at any time if they have been assaulted and will be received at any hour in the Health Center for a very confidential and professional examination and counseling.”

The Clothesline Project started in Cape Cod, Mass. in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It was originally intended as a vehicle to help women affected by violence express their emotions by decorating a t-shirt. It has since spread world-wide as an initiative to create awareness regarding violence against women and sexual assault.

The Committee for Responsible Sexuality along with the student organization, Preventing Assault and Promoting Awareness Within Students (PAW2S) sponsored the project by providing the colorful t-shirts and fabric paint supplies. The PAW2S student volunteers provided information and guidance as students across campus stopped by to reflect and paint shirts.

For more information, contact Health Services at 678-839-0641.