Exhibition brings 104 pairs of shoes to Louth - each with a story to tell about domestic abuse

Some of the shoes on display at the exhibition in Bar Castillejar in New Street, Louth.
Some of the shoes on display at the exhibition in Bar Castillejar in New Street, Louth.

A powerful exhibition is being held in Louth this week, to raise awareness and support for victims of domestic abuse.

The ‘Souls of our Shoes’ exhibition is being held at Bar Castilléjar in New Street, hosted by the East Lindsey Domestic Abuse Service (ELDAS).

The exhibition, which began on Monday, features 104 pairs of shoes donated by survivors of domestic abuse, alongside case studies and first-hand accounts of the person’s experiences.

The number 104 represents the average number of women who die at the hands of their partner or ex-partner in Britain every year - around two per week.

Tragically, in 2016, the figure rose to 120 women and 39 men who lost their lives as a result of domestic abuse.

ELDAS has been supporting women, men and children for over a decade, with almost a dozen staff members covering an area of 600 square miles.

Together, they have helped over 700 survivors since the project began.

Mandy Gilmour, volunteer co-ordinator for ELDAS, said: “We wanted to mark our tenth anniversary by raising awareness.

“I saw this exhibition a few years ago and the impact from the shoes and the comments on display never left me. It was so moving, it left me speechless.

“So often people get lost behind the statistics, but these are real people - mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.

“I am pleased that we have been able to bring this exhibition to Louth. It stands as a tribute to all those who have lost their lives to domestic abuse. We must never forget them.”

On Thursday (February 8) at 6.30pm, 104 candles will be lit and a minute’s silence will be held in memory of those who have lost their lives to domestic abuse.

• The exhibition will be open from 11am to 7pm today (Tuesday), Wednesday and Thursday. There is also a petition in support of stopping planned changes to funding for women’s refuges, supported by Women’s Aid, and charity buckets to support the East Lindsey Domestic Abuse Service.