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06 February 2018

104 pairs of shoes, each with a story to tell

Shockingly, more than two women die at the hands of their current or ex-partner every week in Britain – over 104 women each year.

A powerful exhibition, telling the story of some of these women and hosted by East Lindsey Domestic Abuse Service (ELDAS), was officially opened by Mayor of Louth, Pauline Watson on Monday 5th February.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Marc Jones visited the exhibition, commenting: “What a powerful, visual experience. I will always champion your work.”

104 pairs of shoes are on display, representing those who suffer domestic abuse and those who die at the hands of their partner.

Tragically in 2016, 120 women and 39 men lost their lives to domestic abuse across the UK, and yet in the current political climate funding for domestic abuse services is under doubt. This exhibition helps highlight how vital these services are and offers visitors the opportunity to sign Women’s Aid’s SOS: Save Refuges, Save Lives petition.

For ten years ELDAS have been supporting men, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. This exhibition coincides with their tenth anniversary.

Covering 600 square miles, the service (part of NCHA) began with only two members of staff in 2008. Due to demand, there are now 11 members of staff working across East Lindsey district.

ELDAS offer five self contained flats in a refuge, two community properties and support in people’s own homes. Over 700 adult survivors of domestic abuse have been supported by the project. In the last year alone ELDAS helped 150 adults and 175 children.

Mandy Gilmour, Volunteer Coordinator for ELDAS, organised the event: “We wanted to mark our 10th anniversary by raising awareness. I saw this exhibition a few years ago and the impact from the shoes and comments on display have never left me. It was so moving, it left me speechless. So often people get lost behind statistics, but these are real people, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. I am delighted 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.”

The Souls of Our Shoes exhibition is on display from Monday 5th to Thursday 8th February, 11am-7pm, at Bar Castilléjar, New Street, Louth, LN11 9PU.

If you are affected by this story, help can be sought by phone 0345 650 1202 or email If you are in immediate danger, always call 999.

Read about the work we do supporting those experiencing domestic abuse across the East Midlands at: