Zontas to raise awareness on domestic violence

Austin Zonta Club members are sponsoring a project that gives visual representation to domestic violence deaths in Minnesota.

The Clothesline Project will be on display in the bank building on the corner of Second Ave. NE and Main Street from Thursday through Saturday.

The project showcases T-shirts strung on clotheslines, with each T-shirt representing a different victim of domestic violence. The display includes 29 T-shirts, and Zonta Vice President Cheryl Retterath said it moved her to tears.

Retterath said each shirt includes a notecard describing the history behind the abuse and what led to the person’s death.

“I had a really difficult time (putting up the shirts),” Retterath said. “It’s very emotional. If there’s anything we can do in Mower County to stop the abuse, that’s what we want to do.”

The project is part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, in which Zonta International is involved. Retterath said the goal of the display is to bring awareness to Mower County about how prevalent death by domestic abuse is in Minnesota.

“This is a very moving symbol of what domestic violence has done in our state,” a Zonta Club news release states. “The Zonta Club of Austin hopes to bring community awareness and education to our city.”

The project is free to view, yet donations for the personal care shelf of the Mower County Red Cross and food items for the Salvation Army are welcome.

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