Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
PVAMC's Clothesline Project Bears Witness to Military Sexual Trauma
"You are not alone; together we can heal"..."Sexual Assault is not Discriminatory"..."If a man can't be raped, and I was...then what am I?"..."Maybe I was dressed too sexy (written on a uniform blouse)"..."A wounded heart is hard to heal"...and "I hide my scars inside"...these expressions were just a few of the 50 or so expressions written on T-shirts on display during the Providence VAMC's Triumphant T-Shirts: A Clothesline Project event to raise awareness of military sexual trauma and sexual assault.
The Clothesline Project is a program started in 1990 to address the issue of violence. It is a vehicle for victims of sexual assault to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence.
"This event was incredible!" said Beth Grady, Women Veterans Program Manager, who was one of the several employees and volunteers who helped Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator Judith Berger put together this inspirational event. "We had about 200 staff and Veterans attend, and it was undeniably a moving experience for everyone!"
Judith and Beth will take a mini clothesline project on the road to the CBOC’s and to the VET centers during May and June and will be presenting at a national conference as well in July. The Providence VA Regional Office already has a scaled-back version on display.
For more information about the Clothesline Project or Military Sexual Trauma, please contact Judith Berger at (401) 457-3077.