Prevention and Community Engagement
Center for Women in Transition’s Outreach Committee welcomes the opportunity to speak with area businesses, organizations, churches, schools, and professional groups on a variety of topics. The Outreach Committee is focused on increasing outreach to human service agencies, area hospitals and physician’s offices, OB/GYN providers, corporations, churches, schools, courts and law enforcement. Prepared presentations on domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and others are available. Please contact us for information on scheduling presentations and group class locations, dates and times.
Prevención y Participación Comunitaria
Comité de concientización
El Comité de Concientización del Centro para Mujeres en Transición agradece las oportunidades de hablar con empresas de la zona, organizaciones, iglesias, escuelas y grupos profesionales en una variedad de temas. El Comité de Concientización se enfoca en el aumento de concientización a agencias de servicios humanos, los hospitales del área y oficinas médicas, proveedores obstetras/ginecólogos, empresas, iglesias, escuelas, tribunales y la policía. Tenemos disponibles presentaciones preparadas sobre violencia doméstica, asalto sexual, violencia y otros. Por favor, contáctenos para obtener información sobre la programación de las presentaciones y las ubicaciones de clases en grupo, fechas y horarios.
The Clothesline Project
The Clothesline Project of Ottawa and Allegan Counties is a visual display of shirts with written messages and illustrations that graphically demonstrate the impact of violence against women. These shirts are designed by women survivors of violence, their families or friends. The purpose is to educate, to mourn those who have died as a result of this violence, and finally to bear witness to a woman's courage to survive and heal.
To view designs, click here.
The Clothesline Project began in 1990 in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The intent was to display the shirts created by survivors of assault, rape and incest. Women viewing the clothesline came forward to create shirts of their own and the line kept growing. Since that first display, the Project has grown to 300+ local Clothesline Projects nationally and internationally. The first national display took place April 8-9, 1995 in Washington, DC in conjunction with NOW’s Rally for Women’s Lives.
Upcoming Clothesline Project Displays
Simply viewing the shirts is often enough to encourage a survivor to make a shirt and thereby "break the silence" that has held her prisoner for so long. It is an important step to ending the vicious cycle of abuse. By hanging their shirts out in the open, women can leave behind some of the pain from their past and continue their healing.
The Clothesline Project celebrates the strength and courage of women who have survived acts of violence and provides a testimonial to those who did not survive. Each shirt has been carefully made to express the sorrow and triumphs of a unique individual. The shirts may also use a color from the color key that tells more about the victim.
Clothesline Project Color Key
White for women who have died in violence. Yellow, brown or beige for women who have been battered or assaulted. Red, pink or orange for women who have been sexually assaulted. Blue or green for women survivors of incest or child sexual abuse. Purple or lavender for women attacked because of their sexual orientation. These colors are not mandatory—a survivor may choose a different color or pattern that has a special significance.
The Silent Witness Project
How the Initiative Began. In 1990, an ad hoc group of women artists and writers, upset about the growing number of women in Minnesota being murdered by their partners or acquaintances, joined together with several other women's organizations to form Arts Action Against Domestic Violence. They felt an urgency to do something that would speak out against the escalating domestic violence in their state, something that would commemorate the lives of the 26 women whose lives had been lost in 1990 as a result of domestic violence. After much brainstorming, they decided to create 26 free-standing, life-sized red wooden figures, each one bearing the name of a woman who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family, children–whose life ended violently at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner, or acquaintance. A twenty-seventh figure was added to represent those uncounted women whose murders went unsolved or were erroneously ruled accidental. The organizers called the figures the Silent Witnesses.
The Debut. On February 18, 1991, more than 500 women met at a church across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol with the newly constructed Witnesses lined up at the front of the sanctuary. The women formed a silent procession escorting the figures single file across the street, up the steps, and into the State Capitol Rotunda for public statements and a press conference. The sheer volume of space the figures occupied spoke of their power...and the loss. The Silent Witness Exhibit was officially launched.
The National Initiative
Inspired by the impact of the Exhibit on many lives, a few of the project supporters determined, in mid-1994, to set a larger goal, namely the formation of a national initiative dedicated to the elimination of domestic murders starting with the creation of Silent Witnesses Exhibits in all 50 states. Within one year, as of September 1995, a total of 800 Silent Witnesses had been created representing women who were killed as a result of domestic violence in 17 states. By February of 1996, 24 states were involved. As of March of 1997, 46 states had joined the initiative.
The goal of the Silent Witness National Initiative became 0 by 2010—zero domestic murders by the year 2010. The hope was born; the healing was already beginning to happen at the moment. Now all the states are involved as well as 20 other countries, successful domestic violence reduction projects have been discovered, the march and conference successfully accomplished. The original 27 women (witnesses) whose murders started the whole initiative have prevailed. Their stories have been heard across the country and they are calling for the healing to continue until there are no more domestic murders and no more domestic violence.