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Published on Feb 5, 2009
The Bandana Project is a public awareness campaign aimed at addressing the issue of workplace sexual violence against migrant farmworker women in the United States. Esperanza: The Immigrant Women's Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center launched this campaign in 2007. White bandanas are used as a symbol of the sexual exploitation of farmworker women because farmworker women have said that they use their clothes, including bandanas, to protect them from sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Community members, community organizations, governmental representatives, lawyers, anti-sexual violence activists and many others decorate and exhibit white bandanas to show their solidarity with the fight to end this serious problem. The bandanas are meant to show support for the victims who have come forward to confront their abusers and to hold their employers responsible. They are also meant to be a sign of hope for farmworker women whose fear and shame keeps them silent. May these women be fortified to come out of the shadows so that they no longer have to suffer in silence at the hands of these workplace abusers. The bandanas are decorated and exhibited throughout the year by partners from around the U.S. and abroad. Many of these groups also join together to coordinate and host exhibits during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). SAAM takes place in the U.S. every April. In addition to the exhibits, educational events are held to inform the public about this problem, the existing anti-sexual harassment laws in the U.S. and other resources available to help victims of sexual violence. For more information about the Bandana Project or Esperanza, go to www.splcenter.org or call 1-800-591-3656. Website: http://www.splcenter.org