In light of Domestic Violence Awareness Week, a coalition of groups held a series of awareness campaigns to educate students on domestic violence and sexual assault.

The events were motivated by College Feminists and co-sponsored by RESTORE, It’s On Us, Title IX, and UR SEGWay.

The groups tabled for three consecutive days as part of the awareness campaign. Furthermore, the organizers hosted the Clothesline Project.

The NGO for which the Clothesline Project is named intended for the project to raise awareness of violence against people of all genders. Participants would express themselves by decorating T-shirts.

The T-shirts would be later hung on a clothesline, to serve three purposes: to recognize survivors and memorialize victims, to act as an expressive power to those affected by violence, and to raise awareness among the public.

Clothesline Projects have since been hosted around the country.

At the T-shirt painting event, College Feminists President Sophia Turbide set up ahead of time in the May Room at Wilson Commons with an array of markers and white T-shirts.

Then, the attendees arrived. The session began with an ice-breaker, where the attendees talked about what their least favorite holiday was.

After a presentation on the history and goals of the Clothesline Project, the group’s e-board gave a list of resources for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This was followed by nearly an hour of silent T-shirt sketching.

Two days later, on Thursday outside of the Goergen Athletic Center, the T-shirts were displayed.

Students who saw the T-shirts believed they were an effective way to raise awareness.

“I think it’s important because it helps shed light on topics that people are afraid to talk about,” sophomore Ashley Sok said.

Sophomore Hana Mamnoon emphasized that awareness was important for those whose relationships involved normalized violence.

“Often in relationships, things build up slowly and things that are definitely not okay become normalized,” Mamnoon said. “If you hear people point out these bad behaviors […] in a safe space like an awareness week, people can realize that they’re [in] dangerous situations and get help.”

And the Clothesline Project placed a strong emphasis on the hidden prevalence of domestic violence.

“It could be everywhere,” college advocate and education specialist Emmy LoBrutto said. “It means recognizing that this is a pretty large problem that affects obviously our own UR community.” “These are shirts not just done by our students, but also our dining service workers, our faculty have made shirts, our staff have made shirts, visitors to this campus have made shirts,” Lobrutto said.  “ […] It’s definitely a community problem.”

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Last month, Deborah L. Hughes, the President and CEO of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House, had planned a press conference in Rochester to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that momentous victory for women’s rights.

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