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Candlelight vigil, clothesline display aim to bring healing for survivors of domestic violence

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An event Wednesday evening in Lawrence aims to empower survivors of domestic violence and to promote healing.

The candlelight vigil and clothesline project, hosted by #BeMoreLikeClaire, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 at South Park near the courthouse. It also aims to educate about violence and prevention.

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The Clothesline Project is a collective public exhibit of T-shirts created by survivors of violence and people who have lost loved ones to violence, according to the #BeMoreLikeClaire event website. Each shirt allows viewers to witness the impact of domestic violence in the community.

“Write your story as a survivor, tell the story of the one you are there to remember, or write a message of support as an ally,” organizers wrote on the event webpage. “Anyone who has been affected by relationship violence at any time in their life is encouraged to come forward and design a shirt to represent their story.”

People are welcome to create their shirts at home or at the event, but “please do not include a name or any other identifying information in your design,” organizers ask.

They recommend bringing a white or light-colored T-shirt to write on. They will have some extra shirts and Sharpies, and they ask those who have an extra T-shirt to bring it along for someone else to use.

“One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner,” according to the Willow Domestic Violence Center.

Natasha Torkzaban/Lawrence Times Shannon Vanlandingham and Liza Gant of #BeMoreLikeClaire and Claire’s Community speak about how to nurture healthy relationships, June 10, 2023 at the Lawrence Public Library’s How-To Festival.

Shannon VanLandingham founded #BeMoreLikeClaire to carry on the legacy of her daughter, Claire, a promising young Navy dentist who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on Jan. 3, 2018. The organization’s mission is “to teach safe and healthy relationships skills throughout the lifespan, engage influential adults and peers, disrupt pathways toward relationship violence, ​and create protective, safe communities,” its website summarizes.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is one of numerous events this month that the Willow is part of, along with many community partners. See more at willowdvcenter.org/dvam.

Claire’s Community, a project of #BeMoreLikeClaire, offers more information about relationship violence prevention and links to numerous resources. See more at claires-community.org.

Get help in Lawrence

Domestic violence situations: The Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Reach the Willow for help 24/7 at 785-843-3333.
  • Find more resources on the Willow’s website at this link.
  • National hotline: Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), text “START” to 88788, and/or visit thehotline.org to chat and learn more, 24/7.
File for an order of protection

In Kansas, victim-survivors of stalking and abuse can file for court orders of protection from abuse or stalking online. Visit kspop.org and follow the instructions on the website. The service is available for any county in Kansas. You can also file for a protection order with traditional paper forms; check this link for more information.

Learn the warning signs

Read about warning signs of domestic violence and emotional abuse and learn how you can help at this link.

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