By Eliza de la Flor
A number of colorful T-shirts decorated with moving messages were displayed at the Pacific Coast Campus of LBCC April 30 to mark the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness month.
The exhibit is known as the Clothesline Project. The T-shirts were collected by the Young Women’s Christian Association of greater Los Angeles at various shelters for victims of abuse and brought to the PCC. Women and men used paint and markers to write messages on the shirts. Some were messages of hope, some of anger, some of sorrow. The shirt colors stood for different types of assault.
The exhibit was sponsored by the PCC Human Services Club. Several club members were nearby to provide information to students. The Cambodian Club provided a video to be shown during the event. Rocky Tim, an auto mechanics major and the vice president of the Human Services Club, said the video showed a 16-year old girl being sold into prostitution to support her family. He said awareness raised by events like this was aimed at “preventing human trafficking and sex slavery all over the world.”
Another club member, Justin C., 23, a computer engineering major, said, “The more people we have to support this cause, the greater effect it’s going to have. Hopefully, Washington can hear it. Maybe make a national day, wear a ribbon or something.”
Gina Wilson, 48, is also a member of the Human Services Club, and has a very personal connection to the cause. Wilson freely shared that she is a survivor of gang rapes, assaults, and homelessness, and believes being open about her experiences can help other victims to speak out and not be ashamed. She said, “Being a survivor, I think there are a lot of people that have been in this situation that don’t know where to go. A lot of people don’t talk when this happens to them. When I was homeless, the YWCA really helped me.” The YWCA has a 24-hour hotline: 1-877-Y-HELPS-U (1-877-943-5778).