by Derrick Vander Waal
|Shirts decorated by victims of abuse from Family Crisis|
Centers were hung on a rotating daily basis in Promise
Community Health Center’s break room window. The
Clothesline Project aims to bring awareness about abuse.
SIOUX CENTER, IOWA –
“I’m not a victim. I’m a victor.”
“Hold on. Pain ends.”
“Silence helps the tormentor. Never the tormented.”
“He burned our home to the ground.”
“You changed me forever. Now I am changing others by inspiring them not to give up.”
|Promise Community Health Center staff members then|
created their own paper shirts with messages of hope
and encouragement to those who experienced abuse.
A rotation of about 25 shirts with gripping messages rotated through daily on a clothesline in the window of the break room at Promise Community Health Center over two weeks. For this week, the third and final week of the project, staff members were able to design their own paper T-shirt with message of hope and encouragement to victims of abuse. Those also were hung on the clothesline.
The Clothesline Project has been conducted for many years across the country to raise awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
For the local project, a group of ladies who are current residents or clients of Family Crisis Centers designed their own shirt with messages – or one for their children. Some decorated their own shirt. Others found it too difficult, so they wrote down what they wanted to say and asked someone else to decorate the shirt for them.
The Clothesline Project first was displayed Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, at the Women’s Expo in Sioux Center. Some of the women who made the shirts had a chance to see all the shirts displayed together at the expo – a powerful experience for them.
The next weekend, the shirts were shown by Dr. Valerie Stokes, a social work professor for Northwestern College in Orange City, during her presentation for the Christian Community Development Iowa conference at Dordt College in Sioux Center.
The shirts then were brought to Promise from Family Crisis Centers by the crime victim advocate who serves onsite at the health center. A few shirts were hung each day on a rotating basis, and the project culminated with the interactive activity.
Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. For more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.