The Clothesline Project tackles sexual violence

This morning, members of the Clothesline Project at USC hung up T-shirts around Alumni Park decorated by survivors of sexual violence and the people who support them. Each color shirt represents a different form of sexual violence: grey represents gang rape; light blue and green are child abuse and incest; dark blue is for supporters of the cause; orange, pink and red stand for rape and sexual assault.

The clothesline display will remain up all week as part of a week-long event dedicated to educating the community about sexual violence. Today at 11 a.m. the Project hosted a sexual health fair on Trousdale, and later this evening they will hold a panel on rape in the military with experts speaking on the issue. The project will culminate on Thursday with the main event, Take Back the Night.

The Clothesline Project has occurred annually since 1999, and over the years its members have collected over a thousand decorated T-shirts.

Lauren Dawson, a junior in international relations and neuroscience and the Director of the Clothesline Project, said Take Back the Night involves many organizations working together.

“We are working with the Greek community to try to find ways that fraternities and sororities can get involved with Take Back the Night and the Clothesline Project. We’ve worked with organizations on campus like Fight On for Darfur, She Shall Go Free, and the Women’s Student Assembly.”

Take Back the Night starts at 6 p.m. this Thursday. At 7 pm, spoken-word artist and activist Andrea Gibson will perform some of her poems and discuss sexual violence. After that there will be a march through campus, followed by a survivor speak-out.