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Clothesline project continues to spread sexual assault awareness

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Versions of the art exhibit, “The Clothesline” project, continue to make its way around Indiana. For the last year, it’s been installed in different places to shine a light on sexual assault. The goal was to get the attention lawmakers and make some changes as it relates to sexual assault and the definition of consent.

Women4Change representatives said Indiana ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to sexual assault.

The Clothesline project was initially created back in the 1970s by Mexican artist Monica Mayer. Today, it holds much of the same purpose: pinning the stories of sexual/domestic violence survivors on clotheslines.

Women4Change, and The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking partnered with other groups to keep the project going.

Right now, Indiana doesn’t have laws defining consent. Sex without consent is only a crime if it can be proved the victim was incapacitated, or there was force or the threat of force.

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Exhibits like the Clothesline project have been installed in different locations around the state over the last year. And with one in five women experiencing sexual assault, organizers said it’s time to act now.

“This is happening in our state. And we do need to also touch on the fact that sexual assault is disproportional in the effects that it has on women of color, and LGBTQ communities. Indigenous women are of the highest risk of experiencing sexual assault,”‘ said Patricia Castaneda of Women4Change.

Thanks to those exhibits, Women4Change representatives said a study committee was formed to hear testimony to help decide what other legislation may be needed.

Organizers said there has been bipartisan support in creating a clear definition of consent. So they said they’ll keep working hard to get the topic introduced in January’s General Assembly.

Currently, the Clothesline project is on exhibit at Gallery 924 located at 924 N. Pennsylvania St. in Indianapolis. It will remain on exhibit through Nov. 25.

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