Domestic Violence Awareness Month: UH Hilo’s 2022 Clothesline Project raises awareness, Oct. 18-21

Part of a worldwide event, shirts with messages about domestic violence will be on display at UH Hilo’s Campus Center Plaza Oct. 18-21.

Two women sit at a table with marking pens, designing a message on a white t-shirt.
From left, graduate student Anna Ezzy and business major Ekaterina Rose create a shirt for the 2022 Clothesline Project, Oct. 18, Campus Center Plaza, UH Hilo. (Maisie Paulson/UH Hilo Stories)

By Maisie Paulson.

The Clothesline Project is underway this week at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The project is an annual event to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Launched Tuesday, Oct. 18, participants spent time at the Campus Center Plaza creating messages and designs on t-shirts that express dangers (such as NO MEANS NO) and solutions (LET LOVE GROW) to the problem of domestic violence.

“We host the Clothesline Project annually to raise awareness of domestic violence,” says Kim Schmelz, coordinator of the UH Hilo Diversity Center. “We also want to support Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.”

The Clothesline Project is a worldwide, non-governmental program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. Women express their emotions about domestic violence by decorating a shirt that is then hung on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women.

The shirts will be on display at UH Hilo’s Campus Center Plaza Oct. 18-21.

Anna Ezzy, a graduate student in the tropical conservation biology and environmental science program, helped create a t-shirt with a heart surrounding a rainbow and the words Diversity Center. She says she’s “passionate about supporting survivors and bringing awareness to domestic violence.”

Working on the t-shirt alongside Ezzy was Ekaterina Rose, a diversity student support member at the UH Hilo Women’s Center. “We want to be able to support survivors of domestic violence and anyone going through it,” says Rose.

The event is supported by the UH Hilo Women’s Center, LGBTQ+ Center, Diversity Center, Health and Wellness Programs, Office of Equal Opportunity (Title IX), and Every Voice Coalition-Hawai‘i.

By Maisie Paulson (B.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Administration of Justice, 2022).