Women’s groups hang out dirty laundry against violence

NANAIMO – Nanaimo Women's Action Group launches the Clothesline Project to break silence about violence.

A Nanaimo women’s group is making a visual statement to get people talking about violence.

Haven Society and other women’s organizations have joined the Nanaimo Women’s Action Group in a 16-day campaign of activism against gender violence.

The campaign, called the Clothesline Project, runs until Human Rights Day (Dec. 10) and spans significant dates, including the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women (Dec. 6).

“Part of how it’s effective is it’s an interactive visual art project,” said Anne Taylor, Haven Sociey executive director. “Really, our big message is violence silences. Many people who are victimized don’t feel safe to be able to speak up and when they do take that risk to speak up to family, friends or colleagues, sometimes the response they get actually creates more silencing.”

The project involves hanging sheets, towels, T-shirts and other clothing, bearing messages against violence, on clotheslines to symbolically air the dirty laundry and provoke people into talking openly about gender violence.

Everyone is welcome to contribute and the project has a social media presence as well with a Facebook page called Nanaimo Speaks Out, which will feature photos of clothesline displays and other posts against violence.

Clotheslines are at Haven Society at 2270 Labieux Rd., Nanaimo Family Life Association on Townsite Road, Nanaimo Women’s Resource Centre and the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island on Fifth Street.

photos@nanaimobulletin.com

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