Falcon Safe Clothesline Honoring Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 21, 2022
A clothesline surrounding a booth with paint, markers, shirts and all things denim were set up at the front of Cerritos College’s library on Wednesday in raising awareness for sexual assault survivors by Falcon Safe, the College’s primary violence prevention program.
From noon to 3 p.m. students and staff at Cerritos College were invited to decorate a shirt or pair of jeans with paint and markers, and learn about the importance of raising awareness on the many forms of violence.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Falcon Safe set up a series of panels, discussions, in-person events on campus and Zoom meetings throughout the month in efforts to spread awareness and bring light to survivors.
Angel Gray, Campus Victim’s Advocate, said that they partnered up with The Clothesline Project to bring an inclusive and personal form of raising awareness for survivors of sexual abuse or assault and domestic violence to Cerritos College.
“I’ve been here since 2019 and I help with prevention of and spreading awareness on domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking,” Gray said.
“My goal is to hopefully allow students who may have gone through something like this to know that they are not alone.”
While decorating, participants were invited to take stickers and flyers with information and statistics in regards to sexual assault and domestic violence as well as support services and resources.
Gray said that although the campus capacity is still at 50% and there isn’t many students or staff on campus, Falcon Safe still strives to foster a sense of personal responsibility, raise awareness and engage others to end violence, discrimination, harassment and bullying in the best ways that they can.
Shirts hung on the clothesline represented a wide spectrum of abuse.
Each color represented the different dimensions of violence including sexual assault due to sexual orientation/identity, survivors of incest or domestic violence and abuse, and honoring those who have passed as a result.
Each hand-decorated shirt was hung on the clothesline with words of encouragement, statistics, experiences and more.
“We set up a clothesline to portray that it doesn’t matter what you are wearing,” Gray said. “Anyone can be assaulted. Your assault is not based on or justified by what you are wearing.”
Sexual Assault Awareness Month began in the 90’s when an 18-year-old girl was convicted of sexual assault by her taxi driver in Italy because she was wearing a pair of tight-fitting jeans.
The judge concluded that her assaulter could not have raped her ‘without her help’ taking off the jeans because they were tight-fitting and claimed the assaulter not guilty.
Every year since, the world named April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and declared every last Wednesday [of April] Denim Day where everyone is encouraged to wear a pair of jeans to support survivors.
Falcon Safe encourages teachers and staff to wear a pair of jeans on April 27 in honoring Denim Day and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.