T-shirts painted to protest violence

By Rachel Horath - Staff Reporter

The breaking point almost broke her.

Jane, a Highline student who asked to remain anonymous, knew that it was time to leave her abusive relationship when he held her in a chokehold and nearly killed her.

Domestic violence is a real issue that is difficult to talk about and Women's Programs at Highline provides students with a space to express themselves through the Clothesline Project.

Rather than pressuring students to talk about their feelings, they are encouraged to write or draw what they are feeling on T-shirts.

"Why he stopped from killing me? I don't know," Jane said.

Her family wasn't aware of the torment she had experienced prior to this point, and how would they? He played a perfect fa├žade as the proud military man.

"For me, I was scared to leave," Jane said.

She felt that she was tough enough, strong enough, to endure the physical and mental pain that he put her through, she said.

Jane is not the only one to go through this.

According to DomesticViolence.org, roughly 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

"Women sit down at our tables and pour out their emotions on a T-Shirts and we get to hear all sorts of stories," said event coordinator Maria Toloza.

The Clothesline Project is a way to promote awareness, and for students to have a voice about how they feel about domestic violence.

The purpose is to show support to students who have experienced domestic violence, or may still be going through it.

This was a two-day event that took place Oct. 17 and 18, in front of the Women's Programs office in Building 6.

More than 15 T-shirts had been decorated.

"We want to get more students involved in the project and to get students to open up more about domestic violence," Toloza said.

All the decorated T-shirts will be displayed around campus until Nov. 1.

Once taken down, students can come by Building 6 to pick up the shirt they made. Unclaimed T-shirts will stay with Women's Programs to be displayed for next year's Clothesline Project.

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