Sat, 18 Nov|
The Garden: Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Justice Ceremony (Sector colleagues only)
As we prepare for #16Days2023 this event is offered for staff and volunteers from sexual violence and domestic abuse organisations. Join us in Pitlochry and discover what it's like when we come together to honour our collective pain and hope.
Time & Location
18 Nov 2023, 13:00 – 15:00
The Garden: Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Port-Na-Craig Rd, Port na Craig, Pitlochry PH16 5DR, UK
About The Event
"Justice is what love looks like in public" Cornel West
Please note that this event is only FOR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS FROM ORGANISATIONS SUPPORTING SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL HARM OR RELATIONSHIP ABUSE. We will be holding public events in the future, but this particular event is not open to the public.
If you work or volunteer at an organisation supporting survivors of sexual harm or relationship abuse you're invited to join us in beautiful Pitlochry to experience our justice ceremony. This ceremony was born out of our recent travels around the UK when we held circle asking the question 'How do people heal from the injustices caused by sexual harm and relationship abuse?'
We are all impacted by sexual harm and relationship abuse in different ways, whether via direct experience of abuse, by the impact it's had on the people we love, through our work, or by the impact of living in a society where abuse happens. Whatever brings you to this ceremony you are invited to join us for yourself, for the other people in the group, and for all of us in society.
Everything in this ceremony is an invitation. You are invited to participate as much, or as little, as feels right for you. During the ceremony you'll be invited to listen to some stories from our travels, to contribute your voice where you wish, to sing if you feel comfortable doing so, to join us in some body drumming, and to walk with us and each other on this path in the beautiful surroundings we've chosen for this moment.
We are going to visit four main themes on our journey. We will acknowledge the pain caused by sexual harm and relationship abuse. We will visit the anger and rage caused by sexual harm and relationship abuse. We will spend time with grief and loss. And finally, we will visit justice.
If 'justice is what love looks like in public', this ceremony is our way of making space for that kind of love in our work and in our lives. As activists, this ceremony is our way of discovering what our activism could become if there was more healing, connection, ritual and community in our work.
You do not need to prepare anything in advance for this ceremony but you are invited to think about how you might arrive at this ceremony in a way that will help you feel grounded and prepared to participate and also what you might do following the ceremony as a way of being gentle with yourself. Pitlochry is a beautiful town, if you want to arrive early, or stay late, there are plenty of cafes, walks, and waterfalls to discover as part of your time here.
If you would like to read a detailed description of all the elements of the ceremony before deciding if it is a good fit for you, you can find that here.
We anticipate that the ceremony itself will last for 60-80 minutes.
Please note that this ceremony will take place outside. Please wear clothing that will keep you warm as we sit, stand and gently walk in the outdoors for 60 - 80 minutes. It will feel colder because we won't be moving very much so please wrap up warmer than you would for a hill walk. We will not be walking a long distance during the ceremony but there are a series of steps around the path we will be taking. If you have any mobility issues that you would like us to be aware of please get in touch. There are no toilets in the garden, we suggest that you use the toilet and cafe facilities in the theatre before joining us ready to start at 1pm at the entrance to The Explorers Garden.
You are more than welcome to bring a thermos and something to eat with you if that will help you keep warm during our time together.
Frequently asked questions
Will this ceremony include the disclosure of stories of abuse?
Many people will arrive at this ceremony with their personal histories of pain, grief, rage and injustice. The purpose of the ceremony is to provide a space to symbolise and honour these individual and collective histories, rather than share them. People may well choose to share that they have experienced abuse but people will not be invited to share detailed personal stories of abuse as part of this ceremony.
Do you have to be a survivor of abuse to attend this ceremony?
No. This ceremony is for everyone. It's a space to recognise that we are all impacted by the prevalence of sexual harm and relationship abuse in our society, that we all hold the injustices in different ways, and that if there is ever going to be meaningful change it will need to involve all of us. This ceremony has been attended by survivors of abuse, but we've also had people join us who are parents to survivors, partners, their children or friends. We've also been joined by members of the public who want to contribute something positive to an issue they can see causes so much harm.
Is this ceremony based on any kind of religion or spiritual tradition?
No. This ceremony has been created from the circles we have held on the theme of healing from injustice, it's roots are in these circles and in our story of travelling the UK whilst we held them. The symbolism, songs, and stories we share have all been crafted from these roots. However, the ceremony may feel familiar - when we gather to create ceremony experiences the use of candles, song, drumming, symbolism, silence and collective voice are all part of creating any kind of ceremony.
Will I have to speak to the group during this ceremony?
You'll be invited to, but everything in the ceremony is an invitation. With that invitation is a request to recognise and honour your own boundaries. If your preference is to participate quietly then that is very welcome too. Equally you'll be invited to make sure your voice isn't taking up too much space in the group and that there is room for everyone who wants to contribute.
How many people will be there?
We've limited the tickets for this event to 30 places. We don't know how many people will sign up, and how many of those will show up on the day.
Will there be cake?
We hope so! For those of you who want to spend some time chatting and connecting after the ceremony we can gather in the cafe at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
If you have any other questions at all then please feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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