The Clothesline Project helps women affected by abuse

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WAUKESHA (WITI) -- The Women's Center in Waukesha worked to end violence by sponsoring The Clothesline Project on Saturday, April 19th in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Clothesline Project allows women who have been affected by domestic or sexual violence to express themselves by writing and decorating powerful messages on shirts and then putting them on display.

"Individuals will express themselves and emotions on the shirts. Each t-shirt is color coded and depicts the kind of abuse suffered," said Angela Mancuso, executive director.

Green shirts represent survivors of child sexual abuse and yellow shirts represent domestic violence.

"Every situation: inappropriate touching, trafficking, rape, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, it carries so much weight and significance, specifically those living through and suffering the traumatic effects," said Mancuso.

Mancuso says The Women's Center served 9,000 women last year, and human trafficking exists in all 72 counties in Wisconsin.

"There are accounts and reports in every single county in Wisconsin, and a person is sexually assaulted every two minutes in America," said Mancuso.

Mancuso hopes The Clothesline Project will be therapeutic for those impacted by abuse, and serve as a reminder to others to stop the violence.

"If someone else sees this, maybe they will come forward.  This is a really under-reported crime," said Mancuso.

The Clothesline Project will run through the end of April.

The Women's Center in Waukesha offers an emergency shelter for women, a crisis hotline, as well as group and individual counseling. If you or someone you know needs assistance from The Women's Center in Waukesha call the 24-hour hotline: 262-542-3828

You can also CLICK HERE for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

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