I Couldn’t Name It

I Couldn’t Name It

I couldn’t name it
The enormity of the act
Putting it back
To erase
Stopping it
After it was
 already too late

I couldn’t control
It on the night
But afterwards
I, wanting to deny

If I could make it go away
By washing
Saying nothing
Speak in anonymity
To try to heal just me


In silence
His pain
His mental state
The reason
Like an accident
A thunderstorm
In a tea cup
Somebody to tell me
It was nothing
Is All I seek

The enormity
Already buried
Deep in me
In my shattered room
my heart
my womb
Which he wanted to impregnate
And did not bleed again
Since that day

The real name for this act
I could not say
The truth about my pain
My shame
I never wanted 
to acknowledge
He did this 
To me

He was
Cold as ice
I was petrified
He ignored my cries
He knew his needs
He meant it
every step
Every thrust

I said i didn’t
Want sex
I said I said
Said it again
He says
I know 
I should have been 
more careful
I didn’t realise 
what was at stake
It took a long time 
to get going 
cos of your pain
I could not find a name
for my heart ache

This violence
Soul level
Hurt my whole
tiny sensitivity
Trashed smashed
And left to bleed
It’s like he wanted to kill
What is inside me

Not put off by my screams
Not really
His erection
Tells me everything
Like coke and viagra
In his blood stream
Going going going
And going
No mercy or compassion
He drains all of hers
Sadistic pleasure 
In her devastation
Makin it her duty
To make him come

Afterwards when he
Left her home
He says he’ll stop it now
To protect us both
To protect himself later 
He knows his own danger
His rage
Only matched by his anger
When she  took the mornin after pill
 she was at   the hospital
His momentary terror
When he realises he might be
Called out on his behaviour
Arrested for 

Quickly superseded by swagger
And arrogance 
He doesn’t even ask
For a lawyer
So sure he can blag
And talk his way out of the corner
The police recorder no bother

He knows
Only the women get 
Accused of lying
He’s still laughing

She’s still grieving
Her insides still bleeding
Stomach still heaving
Spine burning
Throat rasping
She lost her appetite
Since that night

She never goes out
She just avoids
Her voice drowned out
In all the noise
Rape is a crime of choice
Vs no choice
It is not a story with two equal sides
It’s a violation of rights

It is an act of premeditation 
Not a misunderstanding of a situation 
He did not misread a signal
He knew full well. 

He manipulated his way in
He’ll manipulate his way out 
It takes a real skill 
To see what this is about

In the intoxication
Of waiting for something so long
You can overlook things that are wrong 

Don’t be fooled
Friends, family
And boys in blue
Don’t leave him 
Laughing at you

I couldn’t name it
Still no words 
To express this 
Terrified of pressing charges
Being called a bitch
Yet being told if he does it again on your head be it
Petrified of inciting 
His wrath
Perhaps that of neighbours too
I fell into the compassion trap
Then to be humiliated
By rape interview
They say no man never admits
What were you wearing ? 
You wouldn’t believe they still
Ask these questions 
The WPC made me say penis 
On video 
like otherwise it’s not true
Just in case you weren’t sure about my humiliation
Now you knew
Better than his letter
abandoning me to a 
living death, yes-
They dismiss  my trauma  
 casually as ordering extra croutons
Couldn’t name it
Some of the reasons

15 March 2017

#IcouldntNameIt #GirlSurvivor #MyBody #NoMeansNO #FearisNotConsent # RapeSurvivor
If you are in two minds whether to report or are afraid to speak out, you can call a SARC- your local sexual assault referral centre- It was a while before I found out – Would make all the difference to know about this and go there as soon as possible- they can be very helpful to help you decide if you want to report and get you tests done and counselling etc- Please reach out to try to find other survivors if you can- don’t be alone x GS

Photos with thanks to Kristina Flour and Marco de Waal

2 thoughts on “I Couldn’t Name It

    1. I know Jo – Shocking that in this day and age the culture of disbelief still prevails- in the face of injury, trauma and the bare hell we go through- and mostly speak out as we are trying to protect our safety and to prevent the perpetrator putting someone else through that- thank you for getting in touch- appreciate -Solidarity and hugs xx


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