T-shirts carry important messages on domestic violence

White T-shirts decorated the front of Stratford Town Hall on Tuesday night.

However, the clothing carried special messages.

“It’s not OK to hit children.”

“To stand up and act is not something abstract.”

“Love is not abuse.”

Those messages are important to help those suffering from domestic violence.

More than 70 people gathered outside Town Hall on Tuesday night for a vigil in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month with the aim of getting help to those who need it and to one day bring an end to violence at home.

The crowd wore or carried purple glow sticks for the evening vigil and listened to the names of the 14 people from Connecticut who died last year in domestic violence incidents.

The T-shirt display is part of the Clothesline Project, which began in Massachusetts in 1990. The shirts carry drawings and words and messages of love and support.  

Patricia Morrissey, a Stratford High School guidance counselor, said the T-shirts were created by more than 600 Stratford and Bunnell high school freshmen.

The shirts, Morrissey said, have helped give students skills and knowledge to recognize abusive relationships and domestic violence.

“I’m proud and I’m hopeful. I’m proud because the students clearly got the message,” she said. “They understood the gravity of what they’re learning and I’m hopeful they’re going to carry this message to everyone they know.”

One of the students who made a T-shirt told her health teacher that information from classes leading up to the T-shirt design led her to recognize that her aunt was in an abusive relationship. The aunt became a client of the Center for Family Justice, Morrissey said.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,” Morrissey said.

 

T-shirts with messages of hope and denouncing violence hung outside of Stratford Town Hall during a domestic violence awareness month vigil. Below Ralph Maselli, a senior at Stratford High School, plays a song to the crowd at the vigil. —Melvin Mason photos.

T-shirts with messages of hope and denouncing violence hung outside of Stratford Town Hall during a domestic violence awareness month vigil. Below Ralph Maselli, a senior at Stratford High School, plays a song to the crowd at the vigil. —Melvin Mason photos.

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Editor for the Stratford Star. Former reporter for the Darien Times.

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