The Clothesline Project 

The UND CVIC hosts numerous events throughout the years to raise awareness about preventing violence 

Ava Stockstad, Reporter

A project meant to raise awareness about domestic violence will soon be brought to the University of North Dakota’s memorial ballroom. The project will make its appearance starting Tuesday, October 25th, where campus and community members can visit The Clothesline Project display.  

The Clothesline Project was started in 1990 in Massachusetts to raise awareness about violence against women. It is described by its founders as a “vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt.” These shirts designed by survivors are then displayed on a clothesline so viewers can read and recognize the testimonies of these women affected by violence. As the project continued year by year, it was made popular on the internet, and it now makes its way to campuses across the country.  

The website for The Clothesline Project shares a heartbreaking statistic on the reality of violence against women. “58,000 soldiers died in the Vietnam war and during the same period of time, 51,000 women were killed mostly by men who supposedly loved them,” according to the Men’s Rape Prevention Project in Washington DC. “In the summer of 1990, that statistic became the catalyst for a coalition of women’s groups in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to consciously develop a program that would educate, break the silence, and bear witness to one issue – violence against women.” 

The project was organized on our campus by the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC). The UND CVIC is a “community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to prevent violence, to promote safety, and to build hope.” In the past, the CVIC has organized and hosted events like the Take Back the Night Ride at the Wellness Center or the Eat Your Heart Out Valentine’s Day dinner. These events are meant to raise awareness and share information about preventing violence in the same way The Clothesline Project is.  

This year will be the 27th year this project has shown up on the university’s campus. If you decide to attend the event, you will see a display of 450 shirts, all sharing heartbreaking but honest stories of the abuse and violence women and children have had to suffer. While these stories may be hard to hear and see, allowing other people’s testimonies and experiences to be acknowledged is an empowering thing.  

Everyone is welcome to visit The Clothesline Project exhibit at the Memorial Union Ballroom 214. The display will be available from Tuesday, October 25th to Friday, October 28th. Tuesday through Thursday, the ballroom will be open from 8am to 7pm. On Friday, the exhibit will close early at noon. 

For more information on CVIC at UND: 

McCannell Hall Room 200
2891 2nd Ave N Stop 7081
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9042 

24/7 Crisis Line: 


 Ava Stockstad is a Dakota Student General Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected].