At first sight, it may look like a load of laundry hung out to dry between the palm trees lining Lawton Plaza on Loyola Marymount University’s campus. When you step closer, however, they’re more than just T-shirts flailing in the wind.
As part of The Clothesline Project, each shirt was designed by someone who has been affected by sexual assault and the shirts are displayed together to honor the experiences of survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, incest, child sexual abuse or violence due to sexual orientation.
Here six LMU students share their thoughts on The Clothesline Project, an integral part of LMU CARES‘ fifth annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
It stops students that are hustling to get from class tor o class, for just a second, and reminds them of the reality of sexual assault. It’s present and it’s happening on and off campus. Knowing that someone who wrote these messages may have an outlet for such trauma is also a bit uplifting. I’m glad I attend a school that tries to take this month seriously.”
— Melissa Cedillo ’18, theology major
As a woman at LMU, The Clothesline Project reminds me of how prevalent sexual assault and violence is in our society and it should not be something that is normalized on college campuses. People come here to get an education, not to be assaulted, and it is something that we have to continue to raise awareness of until there is no more awareness to be raised.”
— Alexis Sissac ’19, finance major
On Being Silenced
The Clothesline Project is such a powerful and impactful way to respond and bring awareness to sexual assault. It allows a voice and platform for those who tend to be silenced based on their experiences and struggles. It’s a response to those who don’t believe what they go through and shows that survivors are not weak, but strong, individuals.”
— Tyra Cecilio ’20, film and television production major
I still can’t believe that sexual violence against people of color and those that don’t subscribe to the gender binary is seldom spoken about. This project reminded me that even if start having conversations about consent, these discussions are only the beginning. Much more needs to be done to support survivors and prevent sexual assault in the future.”
— Kaisara Walton ’19, political science major
I’m really happy that [The Clothesline Project] allows people to realize that LGBT+ and men are also victims of sexual assault. The inclusivity made the project even more powerful as a whole.”
— Devon Elmore ’20, African-American studies and psychology double-major
This project is so important because it both honors and recognizes the sexual assault survivors who were brave enough to speak out on the violence they have endured, while simultaneously serving as a symbol of support for those who may be experiencing the same pain [inflicted by sexual violence] but who are not able to share their stories.”
— Miriam Admasu ’21, international relations major