Fifty-seven shirts are displayed in front of the Shelby County Courthouse.
The shirts, designed by Shelbyville middle and high school students in the Safe Date classes, as well as by members of an incarcerated support group at the Shelby County Jail, represent the number of lives lost to domestic violence in Indiana in the past year.
The shirts were pinned on a clothesline on the courthouse lawn on Tuesday for the annual Clothesline Project ceremony held by Turning Point Domestic Violence Services of Shelby County.
Calling domestic violence “100 percent preventable,” Amber Knopp, community services director of Turning Point in Shelby County said the organization is focusing on raising awareness.
“It’s not a disease, it’s someone’s actions,” she said. “So it’s 100 percent preventable. So we’ve been pushing really strongly, especially this year, of how we can come together as a community to prevent this from happening in future generations.”
The shirt designs have different drawings and sayings on them, such as one that reads “domestic violence is like a bomb – it hurts everyone.”
As part of the organization’s efforts, Turning Point will be hosting a reception for a group of local men who have made a pledge to prevent domestic violence called Men Take a Stand.
The event takes place at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Shelbyville High School cafeteria.
Turning Point has also been going into several local schools and spending two weeks teaching students about healthy relationships.
“But if they’re leaving the school and they’re going into an environment that doesn’t promote the things that I was teaching about healthy relationships, and they’re seeing unhealthy relationships at home and the community with their peers, or they’re hearing disrespectful comments, or they’re seeing in the media and movies unhealthy relationships, or hear it in music, then that kind of defeats the purpose of what I’m coming in there to do,” Knopp said. “So I really want us to come together as a community and send a message as a community that we don’t accept domestic violence here. And we can prevent this.”