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The Clothesline Project gives a voice to survivors of domestic violence

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - The Clothesline Project gives a voice to survivors of domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. In the New River Valley, the Women’s Resource Center is reminding the community that the statistics we read about domestic violence are not just numbers.

They are about people with stories to tell.

Hanging on the store fronts along Radford’s Main Street are purple clothing pins, holding up t-shirts with messages of survival.

"Each of us as survivors are sometimes angry, sometimes hopeful, sometimes full of love or fear. All of the feelings that we as survivors feel you will see on these t-shirts, "said Laura Beth Weaver, the executive director of Women’s Resource Center of the NRV.

The t-shirts are a part of the Clothesline Project. A visual representation of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Weaver said the center is a place that provides services to people who have already experienced victimization. Their goal is to help them interrupt the cycle.

Weaver adds since the pandemic began, agencies like hers have seen increases in reports of domestic and sexual violence.

“As children go back to school and tell stories about what they’ve experienced at home, as people are going back to work, or finding employment and talking with friends or coworkers about what they’ve experienced at home since the pandemic started,” said Weaver.

Weaver says despite the pandemic, they still see people continuing to access their services, especially through outreach programs like the clothesline project.

“It really allows them to share that story with the community in an artful way,” said Weaver.

The hope is the visual representation of the t-shirts lets survivors know that they are not alone and that there is help out there.

The crisis-trained staff and volunteers at the Women’s Resource Center can immediately provide emotional support and information through their 24/7 emergency hotline services. You can call the WRC Hotline at 540-639-1123 to request an advocate.

Advocates can also talk with you over the phone or accompany you to the hospital or law enforcement agencies.

The Center provides emergency shelter to anyone in the New River Valley fleeing intimate partner violence. Please call their hotline for more information.

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