The t-shirts used in the Clothesline Project are made to show that effects of violence are very prevalent in our society. Each t-shirt hung in the project is decorated by a victim, family member of a victim, or a friend of a victim who has experienced some form of violence in their life. Every shirt that is hung in the ballroom contains a color that represents a different type of violence experienced by each individual person. For example, white t-shirts are used for those that have died because of violence. It is estimated that a woman will become battered on an average of every 10 to 12 seconds in the continental United States.
The t-shirt I observed was a red shirt. This shirt symbolized a child that had been a witness to violence in her own home. This shirt displayed a child’s face on it, where one of the faces looked like they were in terrible fear and sadness. The shirt then contains a statement that says, “It takes time to go from suffering to happiness.” The next image I see is from left to right. The child’s face changes from a sad face to a face that has become happy and smiling; a face that has healed over time. The child is not fixing a physical pain, but a mental image and mental recollections of the event that she had bore witness to.
I found this experience to be very profound. The constant gong, whistle, and bell began to make me feel that I almost had moved back in our society. Why do we have a society become so violent and angered that they need to take it out on others? Maybe perhaps it is the influence of television, monetary issues and family relations. We, as a society, have to do something to prevent further lives from being affected or lost. There are help lines available for people that have been affected, but the majority of people are not reporting these events to law enforcement, and that could possibly be because they fear for life or some other extenuating circumstance. Not reporting the issue(s) is not going to help society at all. These people need to stand up for their rights, and do something about these issues. The problems are not going to go away, but only grow bigger, if something is not done to resolve them.