This year, Carleton University is bringing attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Week in a very interesting and eye-catching way: with a clothesline. On the fourth floor of the University Centre hangs a clothesline filled with colourful t-shirts and underwear. Drawn on the clothes are heartwarming, handwritten messages directed to sexual assault victims.
According to Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA), “It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt.”
All week, Carleton students have been sharing their support for sexual assault victims and creating awareness of this problem, and the clothesline now hangs full of clothes and messages. People have written things
such as, “My body my business” and, “You are in charge of your own body.”
The Clothesline Project is not the only way CUSA is bringing awareness to Sexual Assault Awareness Week; there are many events taking place and they have named the entire program, beFOREPLAYask. Their intention is to not only support those who have been a victim to sexual assault, but also to “address the issue of violence against women,” according to the CUSA website.
Already this week, CUSA has held a resource fair, talks with guest speakers, and workshops. All events took place in the University Centre, and all were free for everybody. Each night of the week there has been a unique way for students to get involved in bringing awareness to sexual assault, and every event presents a different aspect surrounding the issue.
On Wednesday night, a workshop was held called, “Men’s Role in Preventing Gender-Based Violence.” MANifest, a public awareness campaign which involves men in sexual awareness in a positive way, is the organization who ran this workshop. Then on Thursday night, guest speaker Justine Shue gave a presentation to students called, “Not Your Typical Sex Talk.”
Two more events are planned for this week, including; the workshop “Active Bystander Skills” and a movie night located in the Minto Centre. The clothesline will hang until the end of the week in the University Centre to keep spreading awareness and drawing attention to the subject.