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20th annual UND Clothesline Project display and Take Back the Night Rally set for this week

Posted on 10/12/2015

take-back-the-nightThursday night keynote speaker Amy Lee Peine, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, to share her story of healing

By Teresa DiGregorio, University & Public Affairs student writer

The University of North Dakota once again is hosting a solemn yet stunning visual display of how violence affects the people of North Dakota this week.

The Clothesline Project and Take Back the Night Rally are scheduled to take place during normal Oct. 12-16 on the second floor of the UND Memorial Union. The Clothesline Project hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Monday-Thursday; and 8 a.m.-noon on Friday in the union ballroom.

The events bring awareness to violence and give individuals another perspective through messages displayed on lines of hanging T-shirts that fill the large ballroom. This against a backdrop of sounds that echo statistics of sexual assault. It all demonstrates how violence has truly affected the lives of people who live in our communities.

Story of healing

Every year for the past two decades, The Take Back the Night Rally has been held in conjunction with The Clothesline Project. The rally is a public stand against domestic violence and sexual assault, where participants gather to hear inspirational speakers. It culminates with a march on campus. This year's rally features keynote speaker Amy Lee Peine and is set for 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15th, in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

A woman with a past and a passion, Peine has been telling the her story of healing to help break the silence of sexual assault for over a decade. A mother, wife, ex-exotic dancer and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, two rapes and a third assault she knows the pain, shame and chaos this epidemic can create.

"Not only will Amy's voice reach people with the tragic and candid story of what has happened to her, she will create hope in the story of where she was to where she is," says Kay Mendick , UND Women's Center program director.

Dru's legacy

New this year is the showing of the film The Hunting Ground on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at UND Memorial Union's Dakota lounge (2nd Floor). The film will run all day, repeatedly and concurrently with The Clothesline Project on that day. The Hunting Ground is a startling expose of sexual assault on U.S. campuses, institutional cover-ups and the brutal social toll on victims and their families. It was produced by an Academy Award-nominated filmmaking team.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority, an organization that has worked with the UND Women's Center for several years, will be selling luminaries throughout the week of The Clothesline Project. The sorority will then display those luminaries up and down University Avenue lighting the path for those who will participate in the march following the rally Thursday night.

Throughout the week, student volunteers will assist with everything from setting up for the project to staffing tables to promoting the event and helping to make the event successful.  Many of today's UND students still feel connected to Dru Sjodin's, a former UND student and Gamma Phi Beta sorority member, who was a abducted, assaulted and murdered in 2003.

"We work towards continuing Dru's legacy, her incident touches our hearts," said Megan Johnson, a Gamma Phi Beta sorority member. "We want to keep her legacy alive."

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Patty McIntyre
Program Associate
UND Women's Center

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