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Raw, Uncensored Messages Show the Reality of Domestic Violence

Davenport, Iowa - A powerful movement is shining light on the reality of domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and to bring focus on the issue, St. Ambrose is sharing survivor stories through clothing.

The powerful display is part of the Clothesline Project hosted by Safe Path and Family Resources in the Quad Cities.

“These people could be people you pass every day,” says St. Ambrose Senior, Britny Jewel.

Melody Williams with Family Resources says the movement is to raise awareness for domestic violence.

“Violence is a public health issue it affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men,” says Williams.

One by one, each shirt opens eyes to the reality of violence.

“The ones that children make always kind of stand out to me. A lot of these were created by family members and they have birth and death dates on them,” added Williams.

Other shirts tell a story of survival.

“You can tell the raw emotion people may have been feeling when they were making it,” says Williams.

For some survivors it's a way to heal and move forward.

“I think this really lends a voice to the survivor. This is something that is seen by hundreds of people as they walk by so it serves as a platform to share their story. It’s not something they have to be ashamed of. It’s something they can talk about and should talk about,” added Williams.

The project also serves as a visual reminder that domestic violence can happen to anyone.

“By posting it with these other shirts people can see that they are not alone and what happened to them was not their fault. They are a part of a community of survivors,” says Director of Gender and Women’s Studies at St. Ambrose, Katy Strzepek.

Some shirts on display date back to the 90's when the clothes line project first started. For domestic violence resources, click here, here and here.