By Becca Urrutia / Copy Co-Editor

Representing four levels of violence, T-shirts of 10 colors hung on a clothesline at the PCC on Wednesday, Oct. 9, when Cultural Affairs students sponsored a unity day event. The Young Women’s Christian Association created the clothesline project. YWCA representatives talked with students and explained the project’s mission: to encourage victims of abuse to speak out. The shirts do this by acting as a canvas for survivors to share their feelings.

They explained current victims of violence who have not shared their situation may feel hope when they see the clothesline.

The symbolism of the clothesline is to “air out the dirty laundry of violence against women.” The shirts were a variety of colors and displayed messages from survivors of many types of violence.  The colors of the shirts identify the circumstances.  Red, pink, orange represent people survivors of assault.

Blues or green represent those who survived incest and sexual abuse.  Purple represents women who were attacked because they are bisexual, lesbian or perceived to be lesbian. Black or gray are women who survived gang rape. White are for women who died because of violence. Students were moved by the event. “Nice to see booths set up, to bring awareness to domestic violence and sexual abuse,” said Jeannie Garcia, 42 a human services major.

The YWCA wants to empower women so they will speak out when violence has occurred.  They want them to know that they are not alone they will stand by them, to support and help them through their crisis.  Because the YWCA believe, “There is never an excuse for violence.”

Candis Simmons, a YWCA program specialist said, “We pledge to honor survivors who have broken their silence and support victims who have yet to find their voice.” Cristal Soto, 19, a criminal justice major said, “Like Tupac once said, Why hurt our women …when we ourselves came from a woman.”

Dora Ornelas, 19, graphic design art major, said “I think it’s really nice that these kinds of booths are at school, because people need to know that even now, women are still being hurt and we can help and talk about it.”