An empowering new exhibition that aims to raise awareness of domestic and sexual abuse, and support survivors to tell their stories, is to be showcased at Lichfield Cathedral.
This has been developed by award-winning charity the Pathway Project that supports women in Lichfield and Tamworth and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The project recently received a grant of £550,000 from The Big Lottery Fund which has enabled Pathway Project to develop their service.
Life sized silhouettes will be displayed throughout the cathedral between 14-25 November representing the different emotions women experience. Real life stories from victims and survivors will be presented beside their artwork, highlighting the reality of domestic and sexual abuse but also showcasing the positive impact Pathway Project has had on them. Each figure represents a life story of struggle, survival and hope.
The project became a therapeutic session for many of the women. Those who took part were able to reveal their hopes and fears to the world in a secure and safe environment. Celia Houghton, Arts Development Worker for Lichfield District Council worked with service users to develop their ideas into something powerful and emotive.
Cllr Helen Fisher, Cabinet Member for Tourism & Communications at Lichfield District Council, said:
“We were really pleased to run the art workshops with women from the Pathway Project. The result is a moving and thought-provoking exhibition, and I urge everyone to visit the cathedral from 14 to 25 November and to take some time to look at the display. Each silhouette tells a personal story and shines a spotlight on domestic and sexual abuse. It is also an uplifting exhibition that responds to Pathway’s help in escaping this abuse. Well done to everyone who has put it together and to Pathway on their 25th anniversary.”
One of the people taking part said:
‘The Silhouette Project has been an artistic journey on how we have been affected and have survived and become empowered by the Pathway Project. Being scared every day because of domestic abuse is horrific. I didn’t know if I would survive. I was drugged and subjected to many forms of abuse. I really enjoyed the Silhouette Project. It helped me to tell my story and get my voice heard.’
Kathy Coe, CEO of Pathway Project explains, “Domestic abuse affects one in four women and each week two women are killed as a result of domestic abuse. It is truly inspirational to see the courage and strength shown by these women who have faced loss and tragedy. For us as an organisation, it’s great to see how these women have come through the other side and have a new found self-belief. For some that journey still continues.”
Pathway Project welcomes support to those affected by domestic or sexual abuse and offers a range of services including refuge accommodation, a drop-in centre, floating support, children’s services, legal clinics and counselling.
Thanks to the generosity of the Big Lottery Fund, Pathway Project have now been able to recruit Volunteer and Training Co-ordinator, Lynn Laughton who focuses on all group programmes and training sessions. The funding has also strengthened the service helpline and has developed new ways to reach survivors soon after an incident. The project will also focus on expanding and developing their work with volunteers and peer mentors.
- Pathway Project helps Women and girls who are experiencing or affected by domestic abuse will be supported through refuge, counselling and outreach. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors will provide support and volunteers and ex-service users will be trained as peer mentors.
- 24-hour helpline 01543 676800. Alternatively, you can visit our website, http://www.pathway-project.co.uk/
- For more information Contact- Kathy Coe, CEO, on 01543 442612 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
- From 1stApril 2014 to 31st March 2015 across England and Wales, services supported 6,189 women in refuge services and 44, 534 women in community based services.
- Statistics from taken from The Women’s Aid Federation England
- Please follow this link to see further photos – https://www.facebook.com/groups/47518033385/