BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Boone County is recognizing the struggle of domestic abuse survivors by participating in the national Clothesline Project next week.

“We need to support women and victims of domestic violence because it affects all aspects of our community, not just the victim,” said Amy Gallano, organizer for the Family Violence Coordinating Council. “It affects their families. It affects all of us. And as long as we rally together to show that their support for them and that there is help for victims of violence and it’s local, it’s right here in your community.”

The council will be distributing clotheslines and paper cutouts to various organizations across Boone County, offering people the chance to write words of encouragement or support.

The Clothesline Project, started in Cape Cod in 1990, is a visual display of violence statistics, by hanging shirts made by survivors of violence or someone who has lost a loved one to violence. The colors of each shirt represent a different type of violence.

“There is no gender or type of person that is affected by domestic violence. It really is everyone. If we don’t talk about domestic violence, it stays in the shadows. And the more there is secrecy, the more dangerous it is,” Gallano said.

The Family Violence Coordinating Council says its goal for the future is to inspire more community members to participate in the project.

“I hope that next year people come to us and say we saw those clothes lines can you bring one to us, because we would love to do that just so the community is aware,” said Gallano.

The council will begin distributing clotheslines next week.

If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.