Hello Everyone, my name is Regina Vasquez. I am the Founder and Director of Fatigues Clothesline and a fellow survivor of military rape. Fatigues Clothesline is an art based self expression program for those who have survived military sexual trauma. Survivors come together in a group setting and express themselves by telling their trauma on an inside-out military uniform. The expression of their stories empowers these survivors and helps them regain a sense of control by leveraging the symbolism of the uniform. They are able to address both the trauma of sexual assault and their treatment by the military they relied on for justice.
Military sexual trauma is an issue that was neglected for many years – until 2010, when a group of advocates, including myself, came together to address this issue. My main goal in displaying fatigues clothesline is to inspire fellow survivors, to educate and to bring awareness on an issue that needs your help. It is by understanding that not all PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are from combat. It also affects those who have experienced military sexual trauma. The best way I can describe military rape, is as incest. Those brothers and sisters around you, that you trusted to protect you, are the very ones who hurt you. Through my display you will read their traumatic experiences and how they still struggle today with thoughts of suicide, their feelings of injustice and how they still struggle with finding themselves in today’s society. Their stories will touch your heart.
I would like to take an opportunity for fellow veteran programs, facilitators, artist and therapists who are interested in participating by collaborating with me to raise awareness on this issue.