Orange County will recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) by hosting the Clothesline Project outside of the County’s Government Center for the second consecutive year.
The County and Safe Homes of Orange County will host a ceremony to unveil the Clothesline Project at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1 in front of the Orange County Government Center. Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, District Attorney David M. Hoovler, Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and County Clerk Annie Rabbitt are all expected to attend the event.
The Clothesline Project will be on display from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Monday and then move to other locations in Orange County. The Clothesline Project was on exhibit at the Government Center last year for the first time since 2010.
“The Clothesline Project is a powerful and sobering reminder of the devastating impact that domestic violence has had in our communities,” Neuhaus said. “It also provides an opportunity to show support for domestic violence victims and their families. The County was honored to host the Clothesline Project last year and we will continue to assist Safe Homes and domestic violence victims in any way we can, using all of our community’s available resources and programs.”
The Clothesline Project is comprised of T-shirts made by survivors of domestic violence or in honor of someone who has been a victim of violence. It not only promotes awareness but also helps the healing process for victims and those who have lost a loved one to violence.
According to Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Executive Director of Safe Homes of Orange County, the Government Center is the best location to accommodate the full display of more than 600 T-shirts hand-made by individuals.
“Survivors and victim voices should lead all of our communities around awareness and the power of believing victims,” Kostyal-Larrier said. “The clothesline display continues to shout from the fabric on which the words are written, the impact abusers have on their victims, children, and communities. The collaboration between Safe Homes and Orange County is critical in supporting survivors, leading the way on prevention and education, and holding those who abuse accountable. We are truly grateful for the support of County Executive Neuhaus and the rest of the County’s leadership.”
Domestic violence statistics are alarming. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. On average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. Since September of 2004, 25 have been murdered by their husbands or intimate partners in Orange County, and one woman is missing but presumed dead, according to Safe Homes of Orange County.
In 2018, Safe Homes of Orange County answered 4,433 hotline calls, sheltered 92 adults and 52 children, provided 5,202 bed nights in its emergency shelter, while serving 849 non-residential clients and 673 non-residential children. Safe Homes advocates provided 7,820 Supportive Counseling Services to individual victims and survivors, creating 5,751 individualized Safety Plans.
Safe Homes provides free counseling, support groups, legal services, and other forms of support to victims of domestic violence, teen dating violence and human trafficking, and gives training to agencies, businesses, law enforcement, and individuals regarding domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can call Safe Homes of Orange County 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 845-562-5340.