Breaking the Silence: The Clothesline Project

Milena Mata | Contributor|

Photo courtesy of

No means no. Always a survivor; never a victim. Break the silence. You matter; keep pushing forward. You are not alone. We support you. 

Students displayed these powerful messages on T-shirts in the Student Amphitheater as part of the Clothesline Project on Oct. 3 in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

The Clothesline Project is a national program that many universities partake in, but this is the first time the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) has hosted the event since the pandemic began. Students had the opportunity to paint thoughtful words and images on T-shirts and display them on the clotheslines. Even Penelope House teamed up with VPA to raise awareness for violence and provide additional information about their organization. 

In less than an hour, students had already hung dozens of T-shirts on the clotheslines in support of domestic violence survivors. The shirts spread messages of positivity and encouragement throughout the amphitheater as upbeat music maintained motivation. The VPA displayed them in rows throughout the day, but students had the option to keep them later. 

Deidra Byas, Title IX Coordinator, overlooked the event.

“This is to show support for those who are currently dealing with domestic violence,” said Byas. “We want them to know that we hear them.” 

Almost four million women are physically abused by their partners every year. VPA provides other services and programs for students throughout the year to help bring survivors and allies together.