Hanging shirts for domestic violence awareness

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By Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airing out the dirty laundry is one thing, but Karen Pilalas’ 4th-grade class helped the 52nd Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy hang up shirts to raise awareness for domestic violence.

Brittny Gainey, 52nd MDOS Family Advocacy intervention specialist, spoke to the students about how to stop violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in 1990 the Clothes Line Project was created to help raise awareness and prevent violence. It began to spread across the world, turning into an international anti-domestic violence campaign.

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In 2006, the campaign spread to Spangdahlem where children hung painted shirts on a clothes line outside of the post office. This project was tailored to the teen center and school-age children, but on occasion adults would help paint the shirts, too.

Gainey said some adults would get really emotional because they either knew a victim of domestic violence or they were a victim themselves. She also said the project was very therapeutic for them.

Family advocacy now plans to revolutionize the project to reach a wider audience. Gainey said this may be the last year that they hang shirts to raise awareness. The new project will include more people and will be visible around the base, so stay tuned!

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