Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Clothesline Project at UCLA (POTD 5/17/10)

Today at UCLA, clotheslines are being hung all around the open areas of campus. On these lines are being hung hundreds of t-shirts. The shirts are different size, colors, and styles, but they all have one thing in common: they each represent a woman who was a victim of, or survived sexual assault or abuse.

The Clothesline Project is a national organization which is determined to bring awareness to the issue of violence against women, and to fight against it. Women who have been survivors of sexual assault or abuse are invited to take a t-shirt and decorate it in a way that reflects their thoughts and emotions about their experience. The color of the shirt represents the type of assault/abuse.

Seeing these shirts hanging around campus breaks my heart. Even thinking about now, my lips move to pray and my eyes fill with tears. I am broken-hearted that we live in a world where people assault each other for any reason, where hatred and bitterness, power and pride, lead to vicious behavior. I am broken-hearted for the women in America and around the world who are subject to sexual assault and violence in the name of tradition, culture, power, hate - and worst of all, love.

As you see these pictures below, I encourage you to find out more about The Clothesline Project, and related organizations like Take Back the Night. And I encourage you to pray for the women represented in the photos here and for the others who may not yet have found a way out or who have not yet been able to find a voice to get help.