The clothesline project is spreading the message for men and women to end the silence and report more cases of sexual assault. (WRDW-TV / April 18, 2012)
News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, April 18, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- White T-shirts line the perimeter of the Augusta State University campus as far as the eye can see.
As Lula Bush looks through them, she remembers her own hard-fought battle against a sexual predator 28 years ago.
"He had befriended me, been nice and everything," Bush said.
This after her car broke down and she needed some help getting home, but before she knew it, the man grabbed her neck with a tie and took control of her car.
"He took me in this wooded area and I screamed and I screamed," she recalled. "He continued to pull the red necktie until my breath, my wind, was short."
A witness called 911 and Bush says an investigator ended up rescuing her from that terrifying encounter. Eventually, she sought help to recover from the traumatic experience at Augusta's Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services.
Shannon Nix, a counselor at ASU explained, "There are so many resources in your community that are free for you and this happens to other people."
The clothesline project spreads the message for men and women to end the silence and report more cases of sexual assault. For this year's event, more people stepped in to help design the shirts and raise awareness, including the men in the community.
Nix said about 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported nationwide -- on college campuses, that number is 90 to 95 percent.
"I didn't try to hide it. I asked God to give me the strength to tell someone about it," Bush said.
Bush said sharing her story is what helped her recover. You'll have an opportunity to hear more stories from survivors Thursday night at 6 p.m. in front of the Maxwell Theatre lawn. The Walk a Mile in her Shoes event will be held on campus on Wednesday at noon. If you are interested in contacting the Rape Crisis Center, call (706) 724-5200.