By: C.A. Printup
October is Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Awareness month, in which people come together to recognize violence in relationships and bring awareness to the issues that arise from those situations.
According the National Resource on Domestic Violence, “Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the Day of Unity held in October 1981…The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.”
Such projects that people use to raise awareness are things like The Clothesline Project. According to clotheslineproject.org, the project “is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as a testimony to the problem of violence against women.” It is a literal visualization of airing out the dirty laundry.
IU South Bend will be hosting The Clothesline Project in the second week of October, according to April Lidinsky, associate professor of Women’s & Gender Studies. The display will most likely be hosted on Green Lawn.
“This year, as in past years, we are collaborating with the YWCA, so we’re trying to draw on community resources,” Lidinsky said. “Some of our students are working with folks at the Y and if they would like to produce shirts, they certainly can. On our campus, we’ll have opportunities in Wiekamp 2211, which is a fairly private space to produce shirts or would like to bring in shirts that they have decorated.”
The shirts can be used to tell the victims’ side of the story, the other side of the story or an outsider’s view of the story. The shirts are not limited to support people of domestic violence as well. Shirts can be submitted to Wiekamp 2211, and students are also welcome to drop shirts off at Lindinsky’s office in Wiekamp 2257.
“I think that it is part of this yearlong effort to publicize and get people talking about this issue,” Lidinsky said. “I think it is really important for men to be involved as listeners, we’re going to have opportunities for men to be active leaders in preventing violence. We know that this kind of violence predominantly affects women, of course it affects everyone in the family, and sometimes it is even harder for male victims to come forward, so we want to foster conversation.”
Other events for IPV in October include a video contest that ends on Oct. 31, WGS Brown Bag Talk on the Oct. 7 (location to be determined) and WGS Kaufman Speaker on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in EA 1011.