Campus & Community

Clothesline Project puts personal pain on the line

1 min read
Da Chang ’06 puts up some of the dramatic and moving T-shirts that make up the Clothesline Project. (Staff photo Kris Snibbe/Harvard News Office)

The Clothesline Project was designed as a way for survivors of sexual violence to “air out their dirty laundry” – a way for survivors of a crime that is often kept silent to let their voices be heard.

The Clothesline Project began in 1990 when members of the Cape Cod Women’s Agenda hung a clothesline across the village green in Hyannis with 31 shirts designed by survivors of assault, rape, and incest.

Since that first display the project has grown to 300-plus local Clothesline Projects nationally and internationally, with an estimated 35,000 shirts. Lines have been displayed at schools, universities, state houses, shopping malls, churches, and women’s events.

Eve Lauria, a library assistant at the Law School, reads testimonials of sexual abuse on T-shirts outside the Science Center. (Staff photo Jon Chase/Harvard News Office)