January 2008: Clothesline Project at North Seattle Community College
Once upon a time, before antibiotics, the major cause of mortality for women of child-bearing age was childbirth. Today’s pregnant woman has an unprecedented richness of resources available during pregnancy, birth, and after. Now her major threat has a familiar face: pregnant women are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any other cause. Mostly by men who supposedly love them.
On January 23, 2008, North Seattle Community College’s Women’s Center hosted a Clothesline Project to create awareness that violence against women continues. Shauna Rumsey and her associates Erin and Chris from the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center spoke on awareness, fear and boundary-setting. I followed with a presentation on using that awareness and intuition to recognize a woman’s real risks and use effective self-defense.
Super-Short HerStory: The Clothesline Project began in Massachusetts in 1990 by a group of women looking for a way to turn abstract statistics into a tangible and personal educational and healing experience. Simply put, a woman would take a shirt and “decorate” it with words and artwork to tell of her experience with violence. She’d hang the shirt with others on the Clothesline for public display. Over time the Project grew, and now there are over 500 Clothesline Projects in the US and abroad. For more on the history of the Clothesline Project visit http://www.clotheslineproject.org/History.html .
from Strategic Living News & Views, January 2008