Connecting survivors, advocates and service providers, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a collective effort to raise awareness about, and end, the crime of abuse. Also advocating is the WVU Parkersburg Criminal Justice student organization as they will host the local Domestic Violence Clothesline Project to bring to light the stories of victims and survivors in the region, as well as host an informational presentation about the role of the community in responding to domestic violence.

Emily Larkins, executive director of the Family Crisis Intervention Center, will present “Domestic Violence: A Community Approach” on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 12:15-1:00 p.m. in the college theater. She will speak on current responses to domestic violence, the Parkersburg Family Crisis Intervention Center’s role and more. Larkins and representatives from the center will be available to speak with attendees after the presentation. Resources and information will also be provided during the Clothesline Project display week.

The local Domestic Violence Clothesline Project will be on display Oct. 21-24, from 12:00-1:00 p.m., in the Criminal Justice Simulation Lab (room 0404) on the main campus.

The Clothesline Project is an artistic display of t-shirts decorated by survivors of domestic violence, or created in honor of someone who has experienced violence and hung on a clothesline to serve as a testimony of the problem. Since 1990, each t-shirt reflects the experience of the creator, and the color of each shirt identifies a particular instance of violence:

  • White – Those who have died as a result of violence.
  • Yellow – Survivors of physical assault, and or, domestic violence.
  • Red, pink and orange – Survivors of rape or sexual assault. 
  • Blue and green – Survivors of incest or childhood sexual abuse.
  • Purple and lavender – Those who have been attacked because of their sexual orientation.
  • Brown and gray – Survivors of emotional, spiritual or verbal abuse.
  • Black – Those who have been attacked or assaulted because of a disability.

“Each year, 12 million people suffer from intimate partner violence,” said Andrew Walker, WVU Parkersburg assistant professor and criminal justice student organization advisor. “Domestic Violence Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to remember victims and celebrate survivors of domestic violence. Hosting the Clothesline Project on campus brings the stories of victims and survivors to life and reminds us these are not faceless statistics. The events we have planned on campus to recognize this month also provide a connection to the existing services and resources in our community.”

The WVU Parkersburg Criminal Justice student organization will also be collecting hygiene products (shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletries, etc.) for the Parkersburg Family Crisis Intervention Center, a domestic violence safe haven, which services Calhoun, Jackson, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Tyler, Wirt and Wood counties. Donations may be dropped off at the WVU Parkersburg Criminal Justice Simulation Lab (room 0404) or the Business, Accounting and Public Service Division office (room 1018).

For more information about the project or to donate, please contact Andrew Walker at or 304-424-8429.

Established in 1961, West Virginia University at Parkersburg is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Academic credits earned at WVU Parkersburg are transferable to any institution in the West Virginia higher education state system as well as other accredited institutions throughout the country. WVU Parkersburg is the only public community college in West Virginia accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees.