Shoes… Can you think of  an apparel item that’s more universally connected to us? Shoes protect us on our journeys. Support us. Keep us warm and dry. And footwear certainly expresses our individualism. Stilettos, hiking boots, flip flops, sneakers… they tell a lot about us.  In our everyday language, the mention of shoes is often a call to empathy and human connection:

             Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.
              Those are going to be hard shoes to fill.

               None of the village’s children have ever even worn shoes.


Every pair of shoes  below represents one rape crisis client at DVRC in 2012.

Think about it… every pair of shoes represents one rape survivor helped by DVRC  in 2012
When we read in the newspaper about a rape happening, we’re shocked and concerned for our community’s safety, but do we think of that victim and how the assault will change her/his life?  I’m often struck by our desire for the media to tell us more, to answer all our  unanswered questions… I think we forget that there’s a victim out there who  was traumatized by the assault and whose life continues to be impacted every time (s)he watches the evening news, walks to class and sees  a campus safety alert, or overhears a conversation at the water cooler. It’s easy to forget that news reports are about people and that rape changes a person’s life forever.  But when I look at their shoes, I’m reminded.

The wearer knows best where the shoe pinches.

 Irish proverb