William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Madison VA Clothesline Project
The Madison VA Hospital hosted its first Clothesline Project (a world-wide program based in Massachusetts) to raise awareness of sexual violence, specifically Military Sexual Trauma (MST). During the first two weeks of May, survivors of sexual assault and their allies were invited to decorate t-shirts, provided by the Wellness Program, with meaningful imagery and text to “break the silence” about sexual violence. The shirts were later hung side-by-side on the VA lawn on Tuesday, May 15, for Veterans and staff to bear witness to the impact of sexual assault and MST. Visitors spent time viewing the display, sharing their stories, enjoying t-shirt-shaped cookies baked by Veterans and decorating their own t-shirts to speak out against sexual assault. Veterans also recorded their responses to the display in a visitors’ book.
The Clothesline Project was a collaborative team effort between the Wellness Program and MST Coordinator, Susan Knoedel. Many thanks to Stacy Sullivan, our resident Art Therapy Intern, for coordinating the project and to the Wellness Program team: Sheryll Faivre, OTR; Tricia Medow, COTA; Brooke Morgan, Program Support; Russell Soehner, Peer Support; Kristin Muckian, OTS. Special thanks to the many participants and supporters of this meaningful event.