Clothesline Project

Today, I met with Phyllis Miller, executive director, of the Dekalb Rape Crisis Center (DRCC) to discuss the center and my forthcoming Sibling Rivalry Press chapbook, To The One Who Raped Me.

I was nervous as I approached the door to the DRCC, noting my surroundings–a buzzer on one side of the door and a small plaque on the other side stating the building was built in 1989.  I knew this would be an emotional visit, but what I didn’t expect was how the since of empowerment I would feel after the tour would wash away my initial feelings of sorrow that stirred as I went back to an uncomfortable storage place of memories in my mind.  Part of my tour included the DRCC’s Clothesline Project that started in 1995.  As each client finishes her/his therapy sessions at the DRCC she/he is invited to decorate a t-shirt.  Ms. Miller emphasized that no form of censorship  is enforced from the center– this comment seemed to touch me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, and I find censorship disturbing.  Maybe it’s because I understand to overcome something as a horrendous as rape one can’t also be a victim of censorship.  Maybe it’s a blend of both as well as other factors.  I was moved to tears as we walked down the hall where a number of shirts form the Clothesline Project are displayed.  I walked slowly.  I took in the messages—feeling a sense of understanding of the pain that each shirt held but also the triumph that the creators must have felt to be in a place to share this painful part of their lives with the world.  The Clothesline Project is why I’m writing this post.  There are hundreds of shirts in the Clothesline Project, and these shirts must be shared.  I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to watch the slideshow below to view a handful of the shirts from this important project.

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One dollar for each copy of To The One Who Raped Me that is purchased through Sibling Rivalry Press’s website will be donated to the DRCC.  I’m excited about this initiative and owe a huge thank you to SRP mastermind, Bryan Borland.


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