Clothesline Project raises awareness of domestic violence

People hung up shirts in Lebanon Saturday to bring awareness to domestic violence.

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Fourteen people from the Midstate lost their lives because of domestic violence in 2014. A Lebanon County organization hopes to reduce that number through a visual project.

They brought out clotheslines, hung up pictures of Pennsylvanians who died due to domestic violence, and put out dozens of colorful shirts.

“We’re out here doing our second annual Clothesline Project, which is an awareness event for October. It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said Jennifer Snyder, executive director of Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County.

Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County held the event Saturday at Monument Park. The Clothesline Project started in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women.

“A lot of people close their eyes to it and believe it’s not happening. It’s not happening in my family. It’s not happening in my town, but the fact of the matter is it does happen,” Snyder said.

Most of these shirts were designed by domestic violence survivors to show their strength in moving forward.

“I think it’s very empowering because it’s anonymous, so you can say whatever you’re really feeling and put it out there,” said Elizabeth Judd, board president of Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County.

People wrote empowering messages on the shirt, but one purple shirt had no message at all.

“It really symbolizes the women or the domestic violence victims that never had a chance to speak out, whose message that we won’t hear,” Judd said. “If you look at the faces on the fence, they never had a chance to get help. We’re hoping to avoid that in the future and have fewer pictures.”

The Clothesline Project will be displayed at the Lebanon Valley Mall through the end of October.

Anyone who needs to talk about domestic violence is encouraged to contact Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County on their hotline at (717) 273-7190 or endabuse@dviolc.org.

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