Clothesline project airs out sexual crimes

T-shirts with phrases such as “no means no” and ” break the silence” were displayed Tuesday on a clothing line extending from the front of Tucker Hall to the Gore Education Complex. The T-shirts were designed and hung to draw attention to Sexual Awareness Month.

“The whole purpose of the service design project is to get students involved,” said Allison Lockard, a counselor at Florida A&M’s Sunshine Manor. “Everyone knows someone who has been sexually assaulted. The statistics show one-fourth of women and one-sixth of men have been sexually assaulted.”

The T-shirts were donated and will be hung until April 4. The colors on the T-shirts have different representations, Lockard said. White represents women who have died because of violence; yellow or beige represents women who have been battered or assaulted; red, pink and orange are the colors for survivors of rape and sexual abuse; purple or lavender represents women attacked because of their sexual orientation; black is for women attacked for political reasons.

Donna Brown, a representative from the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, helped Sunshine Manor raise concern about victims of sexual assault. “Tuesday morning we set up a table that offered brochures; one is about dating violence,” Brown said.

The FCASV representative said she was on campus to refer individuals to centers around Tallahassee that will provide services for victims of sexual violence.

Lockard said the counseling center publicized the event more than it did last year but had a lower response in regards to the production of the T-shirts.

“We did have more students last year,” Lockard said. “One thing that has been good this year is that I have a lot of student volunteers opposed to last year. Even though it hasn’t been a lot of T-shirts made, there have been a lot of students who want to participate.”

Some organizations that have helped make T-shirts have been the National Council of Negro Women and Lockard’s Transgression group.

Even though publicity did little to attract students in the making of the T-shirts, it did attract a FAMU faculty member to tell a personal story at the Eternal Flame Thursday.

“With all the fliers, a FAMU staff member came out and said she was sexually assaulted and said she wanted to speak out,” Lockard said.

Lockard said there will be an event Thursday at the Eternal Flame at 5:15 p.m. to increase knowledge and promote prevention of sexual assault.

She said sexual assault is one of the most prevalent forms of violence on a college campus, and 90 percent of students sexually assaulted do not report it.

Chantale Glover, 18, a freshman political science student from Miami, said she made a T-shirt to let students know there are services available to help them if they need to talk about assaults.

“It’s a good purpose (because it) brings awareness to campus,” Glover said. “A lot of females feel like they’re the only ones. They may have courage to speak out and not feel ashamed.”

Priscilla Blow contributed to this article.