Projects aim to educate students about Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
The Clothesline Project and a Silent Witness Prevention Project provided creative ways to raise awareness and support for victims of violence. In honor of Teen Dating Violence awareness month, these projects came to Conant to help students learn more about violence and what they can do to stop it. These exhibits were showcased on Wednesday, Feb. 1 and Thursday, Feb. 2.
The Clothesline Project supports this cause as a part of Health classes, but all students were welcome to view the silent exhibit in the atrium. Victims of violence have expressed their feelings onto a shirt and hung them on a clothesline to be viewed by others as an influential statement against abuse violence. Each color shirt represents a different type of violence.
A health teacher, Lorel Cunningham, includes the project as a part of the curriculum in her classes. “It is a way for people to express their feelings about the abuse. A way to express what happened to them without having to directly talk to somebody,” she explained. “It is non-confrontational.”
Students were encouraged to read the shirts and get the most information they could out of the experience. Cunningham feels the impact of this project on teens is eye opening. “It’s people their own age or younger who are writing it. The thoughts that are going through their minds are coming straight out onto the shirts,” she said.
Another project supporting Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this week was red body shapes covering the walls. Service Club member Aarushi Shah, ‘17, explained the purpose of the red people. “The red people are silent witnesses who have witnessed sexual assault or abuse and stood there silently,” she said.
They encourage students to be active bystanders. “An active bystander entails using your voice to speak up for those who have lost their voices,” Shah said.
Shah said that it is very easy for students to understand what these red people are trying to tell them. “If high school students can be active bystanders, whether it be bullying or sexual assault or any situation that is morally incorrect, or learn to stand up for other people, then they will be able to use that forever.”