The Golden Women’s Resource Centre is using clothing to express the pain felt by women and children living with violence.
The Clothesline Project allows women and children to go into the centre and create a t-shirt that communicates their experience.
“In British Columbia we have something called ‘Prevention of Violence Against Women and Children Week.’ So across the province there are organizations doing different things to recognize this week,” said Linley McLean, executive director of the Women’s Resource Centre.
“So leading up to that week, which is April 15 to 21, we have these supplies available for women and children to come in and make shirts.”
Men are also encouraged to make shirts and bring them in, but the space will be reserved for women and children.
“It’s a creative way to express yourself, and it’s an anonymous way. It’s an interesting way to display the community’s experience surrounding violence against women,” said McLean.
Supplies will be available to make shirts until April 18, and on April 19 the centre will host a fundraising barbecue at Kumsheen park where all of the shirts will be on display.
“All the shirts are made by local women based on their different experiences, or maybe they know someone who has experienced it. It’s a neat way to get people’s stories across in an anonymous way, and non-invasive way, and potentially a healing way for the people who are involved,” said McLean.
“We just try to provide a safe space where people can do that, and go through that process. And we can provide support as well for people who might have a tough time doing that.”
A few of the shirts that were made last year are hanging in the window of the Women’s Centre. Anyone wanting to make a shirt is welcome to stop by.
The fundraising barbecue will be on Thursday April 19 at Kumsheen Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food and beverages will be by donation, and everyone is welcome.
“I think we often, as a community, think this (violence against women) is something that goes on behind closed doors, it doesn’t effect us, or it doesn’t effect our community. But it’s here, it’s happening, and it’s real.”