VSU students break silence about domestic violence - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VSU students break silence about domestic violence

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –Students at a south Georgia college are breaking the silence on domestic violence with t-shirts.

Organizers say the t-shirts are hung on clotheslines to air the dirty laundry about violence on women and children.

While some of the messages on the t-shirts are offensive to some they're powerful to others.

Professors say at least it gets people talking about what's often referred to as a silent problem.

A student takes a picture of a t-shirt on campus that touches her heart. Powerful messages like this shed light on a prevalent problem.

"You can't help but see them and you may occassionally read one or two," said Valdosta State University student Christopher Rogers.

It's a reminder about a girl Rogers knows who was abused by her boyfriend. He says the Clothesline Project relays a simple message.

"Stop the violence," said Rogers.

It's not just domestic violence these t-shirts here illustrate. It's any kind of violent experience a woman or child has had.

"I had a friend whose father beat her over little stuff it wasn't even like a typical whipping he like really hit her in the face," said student Cieria Swain.

"If you have four women in a room at least one or chances are good two or three are actually going to have some kind of violence whether it be emotional, sexual, or physical," said Dr. Tracey Woodard-Meyers.

As part of a requirement for her classes, each student has to create a shirt about a violent experience.

"We don't talk about intimate violence and so just to get people to start dialoging about it I think it's wonderful," said Meyers.

Meyers started the Clothesline Project five years ago with 30 shirts. Now it's grown to 650. She said a student told her that one day she'll have the entire campus covered.

"That's a problem I would not like to have."

And for now she hopes the shirts will keep people talking and eventually the violence will stop.

VSU has several events lined up for domestic violence awareness month. For more information click here.

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