WVU-P plans Sexual Assault Awareness Month events

PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University at Parkersburg will recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month by hosting the local Clothesline Project and encouraging participation in the Wailing Window Project and Denim Day during the week of April 22.

The Clothesline Project, supported by the WVU Parkersburg Criminal Justice Organization, raises awareness, advocates against violence and brings to light the stories of victims and survivors in the region.

The project will be on display for students 12:15-1 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and for the public 4-6 p.m. Tuesday in the Criminal Justice Simulation Lab room 0404.

“The Clothesline Project not only brings awareness to domestic violence, but it brings a personal connection to the subject,” said Andrew Walker, WVU Parkersburg assistant professor and criminal justice student organization adviser. “Nearly half of domestic violence incidents go unreported; the victims sharing their stories through the project are more than statistics, they are advocates for change.”

The student organization will collect paper towels, toilet paper and trash bags for the Parkersburg Family Crisis Intervention Center. Donations may be dropped off in room 0404 or the Business, Accounting and Public Service Division office room 1018.

Individuals can recognize the month by participating in the Wailing Window Project sponsored by the WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee. From April 22-26, survivors of sexual assault and individuals wanting to show their support may anonymously write and color messages of pain, recovery and/or hope on paper butterflies located in the hallway by the tutoring center. The butterflies will be placed on the Wailing Window for display.

Students and employees are invited to participate in Denim Day on April 24. Denim Day was developed by Peace Over Violence in response to a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.

Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against the destructive attitudes about sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape, WVU-P said.

For more information about the Clothesline Project or to donate, contact Andrew Walker at wwalker1@wvup.edu or 304-424-8429. To learn more about the Wailing Window Project and Denim Day, contact WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee co-chair Debbie Richards at Debbie.Richards@wvup.edu or 304-424-8201.