Celebrity shoes go on show to highlight domestic abuse

Shoes from celebrities such as Twiggy, Cherie Blair, Davina McCall and Tamzin Outhwaite will go on show in Tunbridge Wells as part of an exhibition to mark National Domestic Awareness Week.

The “Put yourself in my shoes…” exhibition at the Trinity will highlight the fact that nationally two women a week are killed as a result of domestic abuse. 

A total of 104 pairs will go on show – representing the number of victims every year.

Artist hangs shoes

The shoes also include pairs from local personalities Kaddy Lee-Preston, Cheryl Baker, Louise Jamieson and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council chief executive Sheila Wheeler. Town & Country Housing's artist in residence Jane Churchill has been helping to create the exhibition and is pictured here hanging a pair of shoes from 10-year-old local girl Leonore Oxley alongside those of former Coronation Street star Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch).

The event has been organised by Ailsa Paton, Domestic Abuse Services Coordinator for the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Partnership.

She said: “Displaying a pair of shoes makes you think about the person who wore them, it also almost allows you to ‘see’ the person standing there –reminding you of the people they represent who are no longer here because of domestic violence.”

Clare BernalThe event is being supported by Tricia Bernal from Tunbridge Wells, whose daughter Clare was shot dead by a former boyfriend. Michael Pech stalked Clare and shot her at the Harvey Nichols store in London where she worked.
The centrepiece of the exhibition will be a big shoe, which we will invite people to write on, to express their own thoughts and feelings about Domestic Abuse. There will also be donation boxes where people can donate money which will help to fund local services supporting people who experience Domestic Abuse.
A local woman who was the victim of domestic abuse and who has been helped by some of the local support services will share her experiences at a special event during the week.
“Changing Attitudes”, a mini-conference, will highlight the impact of Domestic Abuse, and will be held at the Trinity Theatre on Friday 28 November from 12.30pm to 4pm.
Speakers will include Commander Steve Allen, who is the Metropolitan Police’s lead on honour-based violence and forced marriage; Joanna Sharpen, lead on services for children and young people at the Greater London Domestic Violence Project; Dave Philpot, from the Community Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme and Steve Longfield, from Tunbridge Wells Police Domestic Abuse Unit.
Ailsa Paton said: “These speakers will not only showcase the good work currently on offer in Tunbridge Wells but will also highlight the areas where we need to develop services so we can continue to address this hugely detrimental, hidden crime.”   
The domestic abuse problem in Kent.
  • One in four women will experience domestic abuse. This can include emotional, financial, sexual and mental abuse as well as physical assaults.
  • Nationally two women a week are killed. Last year five women were killed in Kent.
  • 750,000 children a year witness domestic abuse, 75 per cent of these are placed on the child protection register because of it.
  • 70 cases each month are reported to Tunbridge Wells Police. This is thought to be the tip of the iceberg with the true level of abuse at least four times higher.
  • Most women don’t report domestic abuse, either because they think they won’t be taken seriously or because of fear of repercussions from their abuser.
  • £686million cost per year on the economy of Kent. This includes days off work, loss of income, medical treatment, policing costs. Every death costs £11million.
Town & Country Housing Group is a member of the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Partnership. Other members include Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent Police.
We are grateful to the YWCA for the loan of the celebrity shoes.
For more information contact:
Ailsa Paton
Tunbridge Wells Domestic Abuse Services Coordinator
01892 501697