The Clothesline Project: What Is It?


Abuse is prevalent everywhere, even though it is not always seen or heard. The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to violence against women. The project has made an appearance in the Castle Valley for that last several years.

The Clothesline Project was brought to USU-Eastern recently and was on display from Nov. 25-27. The purpose of the Clothesline Project is to educate others, provide a healing aid for survivors of abuse and provide a safe place for survivors to express themselves.

The project originally began in Cape Cod, Mass. in 1990. It originated from a member of the Cape Cod’s Women’s Defense Agenda when they learned that during the same time 58,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War, 51,000 U.S. women were also killed due to abuse. The project began with only 31 shirts on display.

Each shirt on display has a different meaning behind it, beginning with the color of the shirt. Each color of shirt represents the different types of abuse and the experience of particular women as follows:

Yellow: Battered/assaulted women
Red: Survivors of rape and sexual assault
Blue: Survivors of incest child sexual abuse
Purple: Women attacked for sexual orientation
Black: Women attacked for political reasons
Grey: Survivors of verbal, emotional or economical abuse
White: Women who died because of violence

Ashley Yaugher, director of counseling at USU-Eastern, spearheaded the event this year. “We had a lot of support from student services, the SUN Center, community members, the psychology club, and many more,” she shared. “It was easy to bring here and everyone was open to helping.”

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