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Statehouse "Clothesline" Honors Victims' Rights Day

April 14, 2008

Concord, NH - On the Statehouse lawn, the scope of domestic and sexual violence in New Hampshire will be on display in observance of Victim's Rights Day on Tuesday. The "Clothesline Project" includes brightly colored t-shirts representing hundreds of the state's 8,000 victims who sought help in the last 12 months. Meg Kennedy Dugan with the Americorps Victim Assistance Program says the numbers indicate a huge problem, especially in a state as small as New Hampshire.

"When you stand among it, you almost feel as though the voices of all of these people are speaking to you, and you can hear how many lives have been touched by these issues in the state."

According to Dugan, the project draws its inspiration from a time when doing laundry was an abuse victim's only respite from violence.

"It comes from the idea that when women were out in the backyard, when they were hanging up their clothes to dry on the clothesline, was perhaps the only time they'd be able to get out of their house and talk with a neighbor about the things that were really going on in their lives."

The clotheslines will be up on the Statehouse lawn from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They will also be displayed at Colby-Sawyer College in New London from Wednesday through Saturday. In its 14-year history, Dugan says more than 3,000 t-shirts have been added to the exhibit.

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NH