The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clothesline Project supplies both

Patricia D. was shot by her son.

This was one of the countless stories of domestic violence that hung on a clothesline in Parks Union for the National Week of Action in October. The event was part of The Clothesline Project.

domestic-violence-infographicThe goal?

“Not only to spread the word, but to take action,” Health and Wellness Coordinator Mackenzie Chapman said. “Get a community together to help someone in need.”

In 2010, 13.8 percent of men and 24.3 percent of women aged 18 and older have survived severe physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the official website of The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH).

First-year EvCC student Maranda Snow knows what it’s like to be one of those numbers.

Snow survived a seven-year abusive relationship. A mother of six kids, Snow remained a stay-at-home mom with her partner till he hit her 15-year-old son. Until then, most of the abuse had been between him and her.

“It took me for him to get at my kids to finally say, ‘Okay, I’m done,” Snow said. She immediately went to the Arlington Police Department where he was later arrested.

The Clothesline Project included a donation drive for the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

“It’s so important when you lose everything to know that’s one less thing you have to worry about,” Snow said. “Some women have to leave everything behind. They can’t even grab clothes for their kids.”

According to the official website, The Clothesline Project began in 1990 in Cape Cod, MA by numerous women’s groups who survived domestic abuse. One member created the idea of hanging shirts on clotheslines.

The shirts EvCC used for the clothesline were made in 1994 by EvCC’s women’s programs and the Snohomish County Center for Battered Women. One 22-year-old shirt simply reads “1 baby W., Feb. 1987-August 1987.” They were six months old.

The Huffington Post reports three women a day are murdered by a current or former male partner in the U.S. One in seven men will be victims of domestic abuse in their lifetime, and the number is higher for women at one in four.

In an interview with The Clipper, Bill Deckard, director of EvCC’s Public Safety programs and retired Everett Police Department captain, recounted a disturbance call he received as a patrol officer. It was from the neighbors of a husband and wife who were arguing, and not for the first time.

A woman answered the door with a battered face, and available evidence pointed towards the husband. The husband was arrested and taken to the police car, but the woman pleaded for him to be released.

According to the wife, her husband had already been to jail. Each time he was released, he would beat her more than the last time.

“I couldn’t explain what domestic abuse looked like as a kid up through college. I didn’t see that emotionally-charged situation until I got onto the force,” Decker said. “At some point, a person just can’t continue to live in that environment. We have to, as a society, mitigate domestic violence.”

For her part, Snow is in the Medical Assistant Program studying to be a midwife while homeschooling two of her children. Her goals for the future are to open her own business and see her kids graduate.

“I didn’t think I could do it on my own. Lo and behold,” Snow said with a laugh. “Now I have more than he and I ever had together.”

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