On April 10, white t-shirts pinned to a clothesline gently swayed in the breeze near Borchuck Plaza, and tees were decorated with personal stories in different colored sharpies. This event was called The Clothesline Project.
Between the times of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. anyone could stop by the Oasis table and share their story of sexual assault or relationship violence on a t-shirt. Many also came by to show solidarity by writing “#MeToo” on the tees.
Oasis graduate assistant Jessica Cook said this event originated because women couldn’t leave the house very often, and one of the few times they were able to leave and socialize with other women was when they were hanging up their laundry on a clothesline.
“It was a way for them to be away from their spouse or partner, and they were able to share experiences of sexual assault or relationship violence in confidence to their friends,” said Cook.
ETSU student Haley Laek volunteered at the event today to help people become more aware of the issue.
“Volunteering with sexual assault awareness programs helps me with my healing process, so I think its good to spread awareness and how magnetized the issue is on campus, because I don’t feel that most people realized it,” Laek said.
Oasis Coordinator Kate Emmerich want students to know that they are available in the ETSU counseling center, and the counseling center provides confidential counseling for anyone who has ever been victimized in anyway.
“Oasis is ETSU’s sexual and relationship health program and we educated students and provide outreach about healthy sexuality and relationships as a way of preventing sexual assault and relationship violence and other types of gender violence,” said Emmerich.
To further spread awareness, Oasis will be sponsoring the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event on April 12 from 5-8 p.m. in Borchuck Plaza. Everyone is invited. If you identify as male, be prepared to walks in a pair of heels. If you identify as female, then wear a pair of sneakers.
Oasis also provides presentations, workshops and outreach events all year long. So, if a group desires for them to come and present at an event, they may contact Oasis for more details.
For more information, contact Kate Emmerich at Emmerich@etsu.edu.