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Clothesline project increases domestic violence awareness

Jasmine Hicks
Staff Writer
jshicks@valdosta.edu

 In light of rising domestic violence in the Valdosta community, the Women and Gender studies program has made great attempts to increase awareness among the students.
 Both assistant directors and activists for the WGST program agree that many types of domestic violence occur every day around our community and campus.
 Now along with others they are making efforts against such acts. �
 There are currently numerous t-shirts hanging on clotheslines by Nevins Hall, West Hall, and the Bailey Science Center; these are part of the Clothesline Project.
 Survivors of domestic or intimacy abuse and volunteers designed these t-shirts to make students aware of domestic violence and rape, in hopes that such tragedies may stop.
  The event will continue until Friday.
“The majority of the most recent murders in Valdosta have revolved around domestic violence,” said WGST assistant director Jennifer Keene. “Another term for domestic violence is intimate violence, because it’s someone you may care for, and it [there is] a lot of different ways, not just hitting, to inflict domestic violence; it may be verbal.”
 Keene and partner Adam Gordon encourage students to get involved and become aware of sexual violence and rape. “99% of sexual violence is perpetrated by men on women; there is another percent that isn’t. Though it seems like it is a women’s issue, it is in fact a men’s issue as well,” said Gordon.
 Keene and Gordon are currently revising the website, which can be found at www.valdosta.edu/womenandgenderstudies, to incorporate more counseling and advocacy services.
“I would describe Carswell Hall as a safe haven but not in providing counseling.  [It is] a open door where we will certainly listen and send you to the right place, but we are not licensed to counsel,” said Gordon.
 Goals of the WGST program include “becoming more user-friendly, such as adding blogs, and hopefully filming a documentary, and starting ‘The Vagina Monologues’ again,” said Keene.
 For Domestic Violence Month, which is during October, the program has had activists come to speak, and is planning a Handprint Project, which will take place on October 25.

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