T-shirts on display at the Driggs City Center | Courtesy Sara Meotti
DRIGGS — More than a dozen purple, blue, and white t-shirts hang on a clothesline in Driggs to help raise awareness for domestic violence in Teton Valley.
On each shirt, there is a message or story written by a survivor of domestic abuse, says Sara Meotti, prevention educator and youth advocate at the Family Safety Network in Driggs. The shirts have messages such as, “I was strangled and almost died” and “I have never been the same.”
The shirts are part of The Clothesline Project, a national program dedicated to fighting abuse by allowing survivors to anonymously share their stories and reinforce the prevalence and severity of domestic violence.
“It’s kind of up to the individual survivor to what they want to tell. Some shirts go into more detail about their specific stories like the types of abuse they’ve faced. Like one t-shirt, in particular, includes a number of quotes that the abuser told the survivor,” Meotti says. “Some of the other shirts are more motivational like phrases that are helpful for them to hear, like how everyone deserves love and empowerment.”
The Clothesline Project located at the Driggs City Center | Courtesy Sara Meotti
The Family Safety Network is participating in The Clothesline Project for the first time this year as part of domestic violence awareness month. The display of 18 shirts is located at the Driggs City Center and it will stay up through the end of October.
The Family Safety Network provides a number of services. They have an emergency shelter, transitional housing, safety planning and much more. They advocate healthy relationships while empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Teton Valley.
According to statistics provided by Meotti, in 2020, the Family Safety Network served 258 clients. 70% of those clients sought services due to domestic violence. Other clients sought services due to sexual violence, stalking, harassment and child abuse.
“Taking that first step to get help can feel like the hardest step but once you do take that first step, you will find that you will be in a world of support and you’ll learn so many paths that you can take to make your situation better. We are a source of support,” Meotti says.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 33% of Idaho women and 38.2% of Idaho men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
Meotti says The Clothesline Project is something that they will continue to display. She explained it’s really moving to see survivors overcome their past and move on to feeling empowered to share their stories with others.
“We would definitely invite people to come into our office to make a shirt if they felt compelled to do so,” she says.
The Family Safety Network is located at 120 North 1st Street in Driggs.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach out to the Family Safety Network at (208) 354-SAFE (7233) or, if you are outside of Teton Valley, call your local domestic and sexual violence center or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233).
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