The national Clothesline Project came to the Rye Village Green on Saturday with a mission to “break the silence and bear witness” to sexual assault and interpersonal violence. Survivors write/draw on t-shirts any feelings they have about their assault. The t-shirts then hang on a “clothesline”, shoulder-to-shoulder.
The event in Rye was organized by Amanda Yannett (RHS Class of 2015) and others from the Rye Coalition for Change. “I wanted to bring the Clothesline Project to Rye because Rye has never created a safe space for sexual violence survivors or held an event to support survivors,” said Yannett. “It was powerful to see mothers in Rye so moved by the event. Sexual violence exists in Rye and it’s time that we start talking about it and supporting survivors that live in our community.”
Yannett has spent the last five years working with sexual violence and interpersonal violence victims. Six years ago, her life changed forever after being pulled behind a dumpster and raped by a classmate two weeks before her high school graduation. Her experiences in Rye made her dedicated to advocating for survivors.
During her first semester of college, Yannett completed 15 weeks of training to become a court certified advocate for sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and stalking victims. After her first year of college, she transferred to William & Mary where she started a chapter of the national Clothesline Project.
By the end of her first year, the administration asked Yannett to represent the student body on the administrative committee dedicated to addressing sexual violence. During her second year, Yannett was elected as the first female president of Someone You Know, a student organization dedicated to empowering survivors and educating the community. She was invited to speak directly with senators and delegates in Virginia about domestic violence policy.
In addition, Yannett successfully made policy changes at William & Mary, such as adding different forms of abuse under the domestic violence policy. During her last year of college, Yannett completed an additional 40 hours of training in order to volunteer at an advocacy center. Yannett has also served as a resource for our community members that have experienced sexual violence.
Yannett recommends the following educational resources on sexual violence:
Colorado State University’s Supporting Survivors Page
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s (RAINN) Website
Discussions about Consent, Sexual Harassment, and Misconduct for Parents and Kids