PARIS – REACH, the sexual assault support center for Oxford County and the towns of Bridgton and Harrison, invites survivors of sexual violence and concerned others to participate in a Clothesline Project T-shirt workshop as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is an opportunity for survivors to express their feelings, celebrate their strengths and join others in raising awareness in our communities about the prevalence of violence against women, men and children.

REACH will hold two T-shirts workshops where women, men and teens can use creativity to decorate the shirts, which will be displayed at various venues during April, and at the REACH sponsored production of The Vagina Monologues, which will take place in May.

The T-shirt workshops are from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the Rumford Public Library, 58 Rumford Ave.; and from 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, April 25, at the West Parish Congregational Church, Broad Street, Bethel. T-shirts, decorating supplies and refreshments will be provided. Writings by participants to accompany the T-shirts is welcomed but not required.

The original Clothesline Project started in Cape Cod, Mass. in 1990 as a way to raise awareness of the impact that sexual and domestic violence has on individuals and on communities. It is a vehicle for survivors of violence and their concerned others to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as a testimony to their experience. In 1998, the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault organized an effort to create a Clothesline Project for Maine and since then has collected hundreds of T-shirts from around the state that are displayed regularly.

Call the REACH office at 743-9777 if you are interested in participating in a T-shirt workshop so that there will be enough materials on hand for everyone. Call the REACH office for additional information about the workshop and The Vagina Monologues, or visit www.reachmaine.org.


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