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Mount Students to Decorate, Hang T-Shirts for Anti-Violence Event

Feb. 17, 2010 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University students will design and display scores of anti-violence T-shirts Feb. 22 to 24 as part of the Clothesline Project, an annual worldwide demonstration that helps give a voice to women affected by violence.

The college organizes its Clothesline events each year to bring the issue of violence against women to the forefront in a women's college environment. According to recent statistics, up to 25 percent of college women experience rape or attempted rape during their college years. The theme for this year's events is "Present Healing the Past."

"As a women's college, we think it's important to speak out about violence against women," says Susan Salem, Mount St. Mary's director of Counseling and Psychological Services. "The Clothesline Project provides a healing opportunity for survivors to tell their story through art and words that are placed on T-shirts, and for others to understand their experiences in the hope of preventing future violence."

Shirt-making tents will be erected throughout both campuses to allow survivors to express their own experiences while affirming their strength. Educational materials will also be provided to increase awareness about such issues as sexual assault, domestic violence and childhood abuse. "We certainly hope that our students will take their lessons of healing back to their own communities to encourage others to form healthy relationships as well," Salem says.

Originally launched in 1990 in Cape Cod, Mass., the Clothesline Project takes place annually in 500 communities worldwide. Mount St. Mary's Clothesline Project is sponsored by Counseling and Psychological Services and several campus groups, including the African American Council of Women, Campus Ministry and Women's Leadership. The project is partially funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The clotheslines will be exhibited on the College's Chalon Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 24, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in The Circle. From 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 23, Chalon students will be doing poetry readings to celebrate women's strength to overcome.

On the Doheny Campus, view the displays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22 to 24 at Ahmanson Commons. The Chalon Campus is located at 12001 Chalon Road in Brentwood, and the Doheny Campus is located at 10 Chester Place near downtown Los Angeles.

The college additionally is hosting a Take Back the Night walk of empowerment at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23 beginning in Mercy Chapel on the Doheny Campus. Also during February, students have been overseeing a clothing drive in conjunction with the project to donate to a shelter for battered women.

For more information, visit www.clotheslineproject.org.

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