Every shirt tells her story
Posted by : April 6, 2013| On :
The Monitor Staff
ATHENS–Sometimes good things can happen even in the midst of tragedy.
That’s what many Athens community leaders are counting on as the “Clothesline Project” was erected Tuesday on the Henderson County courthouse lawn.
Women who survived various forms of domestic abuse created the shirts strung on the clothesline. The shirts represent the strength and courage of these women to come forward to talk about abuse.
Even more harrowing were the white shirts created by family members of women killed by domestic violence.
Each shirt told its own story. Yellow shirts were made by battered or assaulted women. Survivors of rape and sexual assault created red, pink and orange shirts. The blue and green shirts showcased the courage of incest and sexual abuse survivors, while purple and lavender shirts represents women attacked because of their sexual orientation. Every black shirt was made by a women attacked for political reasons.
“It’s a very big step for these women to come forward,” said Donna Johnson, president of the East Texas Crisis Center.
When women come forward as abuse survivors, its shows life can move on and that there is help for others going through the same experiences.
A few hours after the shirts were first strung on the courthouse lawn, people began to congregate to take a closer look at the shirts and hear Henderson County judge Richard Sanders declare April Sexual Abuse Awareness and Child Abuse Awareness Month.
Johnson took the podium during this time, saying, “In the first two months of this year, we have already seen 15 sexual assault cases. That is just two months.”
The East Texas Crisis Center will continue its mission to raise awareness and funds to stop violence against women by hosting its first “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event June 1, at the courthouse square.
“Walk a Mile” literally asks a team of up to five men to walk in women’s high heel shoes around the Courthouse Square four times. Those interested in signing up for “Walk a Mile” can get registration forms at The Monitor office, located at 1316 S. Third, in the Groom and Sons plaza in Mabank.