Take Your Place in the Murray State Tradition
Clothesline Project

Skip Navigation LinksDirectory > Administration > Student Affairs > Departments and programs > Women's Center > Our Programs > Clothesline Project

Clothesline Project

What is the Clothesline?

The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to the violence against women. During the public display, a clothesline is hung with shirts. Each shirt is decorated to represent a particular woman's experience, by the survivor herself or by someone who cares about her. This is a nation-wide project.

The project started with 31 shirts hung in Hyannis, Massachusetts in the Fall of 1990. Since that time, projects have begun in communities all across the country and in other countries as well.

The purpose of the project is four-fold.

1. To bear witness to the survivors as well as the victims of the war against women.

2. To help with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one or are survivors of this violence.

3. To educate, document, and raise society's awareness of the extent of the problem of violence against women.

4. To provide a nationwide network of support, encouragement and information for other communities starting their own Clothesline Projects.

Colors and Meanings of the T-Shirts:

White or Black is for women who have died of violence. These can be created by a friend and/or family member who want to honor the victim's memory.

Yellow or Beige is for women who have been battered or physically abused.

Red, Pink or Orange is for women who have been raped or sexually abused.

Blue or Green is for women survivors of incest or child sexual abuse.

Gray is for women who have endured verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse.

Maroon is for victims of stalking.

Purple or Lavender is for men/women attacked because of their sexual orientation.

Starting a Clothesline

If you would like to start a Clothesline Project in your area or organize a display, please write for guidelines, ideas, lessons from experiences and other information. Please contact the Clothesline Project, Inc. when you begin so you can be included in national and regional events.

The Clothesline Project, Inc. 

National Network

138 Tubman Road

Brewster, MA 02631


Creating a shirt

We would like each shirt to reflect the woman's personal experience. You may include a name, date, and memorabilia such as tools of trade or symbols of interest. The Women's Center provides the shirts and paint for you in Oakley Applied Science C-103. Be sure to find out when Clothesline shirts are being made because they are not always available.


Naming the perpetrator is an important part of the healing process. But, for legal reasons, we cannot display shirts with full names of the perpetrators. We ask that shirt makers use first names or initials if they wish to name their violator.

At Murray State

The MSU Clothesline Project is a part of a nation-wide effort to raise awareness of the reality and impact of violence in out world and to honor survivors of violence. The Project is a visual display of t-shirts created by survivors of sexual abuse, rape/sexual assault, homophobic violence, stalking, psychological abuse, and battering. Those who haven't been victims are invited to commemorate the life of someone s/he knows who died as a result of violence. In addition, individuals who have not been victimized but who wish to take a stand against violence and encourage others to do so can "voice" their thoughts on black t-shirts. We invite survivors, their friends and/or family members to create shirts that reflect their experience, help themselves and other survivors heal, and inspire everyone to do his/her part to eliminate physical, sexual, and psychological violence.

Where: Oakley Applied Science Building C-103 D (Women's Center)

When: Currently, the Clothesline Project is not on display and shirts are not being created.

Decorative image
Site Directory