ST. CLOUD -- The third annual Clothesline Project is going on this week at the St. Cloud VA to raise awareness of sexual abuse in the military.

The project features nearly 50 tee shirts decorated by veterans who are survivors of sexual abuse with messages of assurance and hope.

"This raises awareness for veterans, the community and out employees," says Joy Finkelson, the Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator for the VA. "And [it] reduces the stigma for people to feel more comfortable coming forward to say this happened to [them], and to let people know they're not the only one who has experienced this."

Finkelson says the support and turnout for the project has grown in its three years.

"We have had about 20 new tee shirts added this year, so awareness is definitely getting out there."

Finkelson says 1 out of 4 women in the military experience sexual trauma compared to 1 out of 100 men.

The Clothesline Project continues through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the St. Cloud VA Auditorium (Building 8).

 

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON