The 2017 Annual Gathering in Edinburgh introduced the Souls of Our Shoes Exhibition collated by the Scottish Interfaith Group. The first All-Ireland Souls of Our Shoes Exhibition was mounted in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin for the duration of the World Meeting of Families in 2018. It was a moving and meaningful experience, visited by thousands of visitors and pilgrims, many of whom echoed that domestic abuse was endemic in their country. Some took photos, asked questions, and were excited to be taking this idea back to their own country.
The physical shoes in this exhibition are accompanied by comments from those that have walked away from abuse. Other comments come from those who journey with them. Their reflections represent a faith perspective.
The exhibition has appeared at General Synod, and is used in a variety of diocesan and parish contexts and is an extension of our initiatives to highlight abuse, and the practical and prayerful support we offer to families. It is a reminder that with timely help, many can escape from their abusive situations, rebuild their confidence and live in safety.
For the month of August Souls of Our Shoes was imaginatively displayed in Ballincollig - just west of Cork City. The exhibition was open from 10am-12 noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays - offering a quiet and reflective space for people to drop in and explore.
It is said that once you know about something wrong you are duty bound to do something about it. For us in Mothers’ Union complacency is not an option, actions, no matter how tiny, are the way forward. Tiny steps have a habit of turning into large strides. Armed with prayer, compassion and integrity we step forward and continue to build on our work to combat domestic abuse and gender- based violence. Together we call for #NoMore1in3.
“It is God’s intention for all human beings, male, female, child and adult, to enjoy safety, freedom, dignity and fullness of life. Abuse in the home is a violation of God’s wish for humanity as it can adversely affect an individual’s relationship with God and also creates substantial damage in the family, in the community and in society as a whole.”
(From the Scottish Inter-Faith Statement)
You can view videos by the Scottish Interfaith Group on Domestic Abuse featuring the exhibition here: