Every fall, residents of Solid Ground’s Broadview Shelter and Transitional Housing participate in The Clothesline Project, an annual effort that raises awareness about domestic violence (DV), honors those who have experienced it, and creates healing opportunities for survivors.
The Clothesline itself is made up of shirts either designed by or made in honor of people who’ve experienced DV. Solid Ground’s Wallingford office displays the shirts made by Broadview residents each October to recognize Domestic Violence Action Month.
“I see amazing messages and words of wisdom, and there’s a lot of strength behind all of it.” ~Kelsey F., Broadview DV Advocate.
Recently, members of Broadview’s DV support group gathered on a rainy Wednesday night to decorate a pile of T-shirts with whatever designs moved them, from blooming flowers to affirmations, and symbols of hope. The act of creating with others prompted conversation amongst the group, encouraging each person to share their thoughts and ultimately, support one another through a time of transition.
“People are here for a specific amount of time, and when they’re just given the opportunity to have a creative outlet, especially focused on DV awareness – I’ve never seen anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to participate.’ People are actually interested in stuff like this,” says Kelsey F., DV Advocate at Broadview.
There’s not a lot of downtime when you’re working to regain stability, but with dedicated time just to focus on a creative outlet, the end results serve as powerful statements of resilience.
“I see people sit and think about what they want to write for maybe five minutes, and then they just go for it,” Kelsey says. “I see amazing messages and words of wisdom, and there’s a lot of strength behind all of it.”
The Clothesline Project started in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1990 when members of the Cape Cod Women’s Defense Agenda learned a horrific statistic: In the time that 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War, 51,000 U.S. women were also killed at home by the men who claimed to love them. The project that began with 31 shirts has since expanded to more than 600 active projects in communities across the country today.
Broadview’s latest shirts will hang in the second-floor lobby of Solid Ground’s Wallingford office at 1501 North 45th Street in Seattle through the end of October. Come by and view them any weekday from 11am-4pm.