How do you?

How do you?

love traffic light blog ibest mage4

How do you thank someone
who stood beside you
all along
how do I tell him?
He is the sun
he shines
when everything is dark
he never runs
he stays
when everyone has gone
when I’m weak
he is strong
He never lets me give up
my song
I was ready to leave
hang up my efforts to breathe
He said no, please
I love you,
Please don’t.
You’re lovely
You’re amazing
you’re wonderful
when all the others
try to crush my soul
a little bit of me
start to feel whole

©GS
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#Wholeness #AnnaJuliet #Love #Recovery #RapeSurvivor #BelieveHer #Friendship #Relationships #TimesUp #Consent #InformedConsent #HerStory #MyBody #Respect #GirlSurvivor

Home

Home

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When you did that
When you spoke about going away
So easily
A little bit of me closed off
Didn’t die
Just retreated inside
I cried and I cried
I felt so deep

You said
Have your feelings for me changed?
I couldn’t answer
Lately I need quiet
Lately I didn’t need
So many words
With you

I just wanted to lay down
With you and I
Lay my head on your chest
I feel your arms around me
So comforting
Here I am safe
I’m never bored

You were there with me
Sometimes
When I was
In the depths of hell
Crying for
My lost soul
The parts of me I left behind
I could never share with you
Or maybe I will

I said
I’m not a woman any more
He took all that from me
Did I lose all that?

You said no
You are, you are!
You’re beautiful
I love you

My heart leaps when you
Say this to me
Like it didn’t when
Anyone said it to me
Before.
I said

Home is in your arms
That might be my new song
It’s a boring title
Maybe, no?
You say

No
It isn’t.
Really,
I like it
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©GS

My own fear of abandonment.  Something I had to face.  This deep vulnerability, that left me always leaving first,  Until I find real love.  Then this really hurts to face the risk of loss.  To love yourself when you are alone, is a start,  Only then can I feel home.

Surviving rape shatters deep parts of you that really hurt to try to put together.  To be with someone who is prepared to sit with you through the pain and then say “Thank you” even.  When I have felt so worthless, to hear “I love you,”  from someone who really means it, is incredible to me.


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#AnnaJuliet #GirlSurvivor #RapeSurvivor #BelieveHer #NoMore  #BreakThe Silence #DontBeSilenced #AbuseSurvivor #WomensLivesMatter #GirlsLivesMatter  #EndVictimShaming #Intimacy #Relationships #Love #Home

Too to

Too to

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Too unstable to be raped
Too quiet to be raped
Too loud to be raped
Too rude to be raped
Too outgoing to be raped
Too beautiful to be raped
Too much of a mess to be raped
Now that she has been raped
I mean who would anyway?
Look at the state

Too full of tears
And back ache to be raped
I mean maybe she was in pain before he raped her
So it can’t be rape

Too much audacity
She reached out to other survivors
Without the support of police

Too polite, happy and looked like she was
getting on fine with the perpetrator to be raped
He played the bass
I was there at the gig that night
He was always alright with me
I am a single mother and he
Worked with old ladies
My mum knew him and
He never gave us any problems
Ok he has dropped pornographic comments
And he is awkward around women he doesn’t know
I don’t know why
He always carried a condom
But he was always allright with me

Oh he has to stop doing that
“ Overriding no “ thing
He is too pushy
Too eager, too over excited
Too immature
Too domineering, with an entitled attitude to women
Too demanding to take no for an answer
You’re a strong woman
Maybe you wouldn’t have minded so much
If you weren’t a strong woman

I am weak now
I stay home with my head bowed
Afraid to go out
Get told I am aggressive That i did shout
Now
Plead and beg for help
But it fell on deaf ears
As I used the wrong tone
Though my voice had died and
It would barely come out
Still I try to speak out
Still I tried to reach out
They said you changed your story
Changed your mind
You told us cuz
It is how you will be defined
If you don’t know your own mind
“How would he reasonably know you weren’t consenting?”
As if rapists were reasonable men
Yh I know you said you were screaming in pain
But tell me,
Describe your underwear again

Can you explain consent law again?
Because it is about will
It is about did you want what he did?
Did you agree to all of it?
Of course not
He knew
He said he knew
He said it’s not nice what I’m doing
Has anyone else been nasty with you
Did someone try to force you before?

Too quiet to rape
Why didn’t you scream for help?
Not just scream in pain
Why are you shouting
Why are you so angry?
Maybe that is the problem
Maybe you hate men
He never had a girlfriend
Not in two decades
But his last one
Was his best mate
Maybe the problem is your race
Too old to rape
The perpetrator was angry
He said you’re quite young
Aren’t you
How old are you
Did you used to be a model
Grabbing my hair too
He said:
Do you know how old I am?
I’ve never known a blonde.

Rape is not a hate crime
It’s just misogyny
Which to save you
Looking in the dictionary
translates as hatred
Of women.

Just to be clear
This is the voice of a policeman
Smirking
He said: Injuries, so what?
What does that prove ?
A man jumping up and down on you
The damage sixteen stone can do
I believe you perceived you weren’t consenting
The suspect said it was all consensual
All the torture
He put your body through
Though you said it was rough and painful
No. I said HE was really rough and
He hurt me.
I am in agony
Please
Let me see a doctor
Please
Please don’t let him near me
I am terrified
I am afraid to go outside
Since that night

Too young to know better
Too sexy to be raped
Too ugly to rape
Too stupid to be rape
Too clever to rape
Too flighty to rape
Too unreliable to rape
Too disabled to rape
Too full of fear to rape
Too flirty to rape
Too potentially mentally ill to rape
If you count the PTSD
She sustained along with her physical injuries
During the rape
No visible injuries
Skeletal bruising goes too deep
Internal bruising and lacerations
Maybe your shower gel was too cheap.
You didn’t let me see a doctor for weeks
Then invent other reasons for my
Injuries

Too boring to rape
Too pretty to be taken seriously
Too intelligent to be raped
Too assertive to be raped
Too outspoken to be raped
Too much of a strong lady to be raped
She didn’t appear distressed
When she was making her complaint
Maybe she was putting on a brave face
But who does that
After rape

Too fat to be raped
Too thin to be raped
Too distracted to be raped
She talked about the same things again and again
With a phenomenal amount of detail
That is not normal
She has always been consistent

Too resistant

Too educated to be raped
Too stupid to be taken seriously
She put herself at risk
She asked for it
He injured her
But she wanted it
She wasn’t clear
She was too clear
She inflamed his temper
She fell asleep during the movie
She didn’t make him feel chemistry
She
She
Never he
Stop blaming the victim
Stop the shaming
It is you who should be ashamed
This is not a game
It is a crime
The perpetrator carried on
Despite her refusal
He wasn’t blind to
Her terror
Resistance
Screams
Reluctance
Tears
Pain
Her cowering
Her pleading
He carried on regardless
He didn’t worry about her being
Too anything

©GS
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Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like Talking

Sometimes I Don’t Feel Like Talking

Sometimes I don’t feel like talking
Sometimes I wanna be quiet
I’m not hostile
Because I didn’t smile
Touch me when I don’t want
That is hostile
Impose upon me when
I said no
That is hostile
I try to defend myself
You say I’m rude
Aggressive
You even say it’s abuse
Yet all those things
Man did:
You excuse
He said she consented
It must be true

Did you ask me
What I wanted
It’s my body
I said no
I said no
I said no
Put me under duress
Then say I accept
I didn’t
You didn’t read me my rights
I had no counsel
No time
Nobody to describe my plight
No way to understand
How frightened
How terrorised
How unable to move
Or take flight

They told me
to make my statement
lying down
Because of the pain
Of the injuries
He caused to my body
I could not sit up
I could barely speak
Yet you say that
Is normality
I am so full of grief
Sometimes I don’t want to eat
I forgot for weeks
The first month
I survived on coffee
I could not sleep
I lay on the floor
Where I would have been
At his feet
I could not disrobe
As I could not bear
To touch my own body

A policeman called
He yelled at me
I was on the floor
Crying
It was just after dawn
He yells
I AM NOT INTERESTED
IN YOUR FEELINGS
Give me your evidence!
Now!
If you have any

I wept
No
I can’t
It hurts to speak
I am on the floor
I’ve been here
All night
Crying since five
I can’t think straight
I am too weak
I am in pain
I can’t
He shouts

YES
YOU
CAN

Are you going to co- operate?
Do you want us to investigate?
We listened to you for FOUR HOURS you took FOUR HOURS on video
Nobody takes FOUR HOURS!

I was silent
he said
Right
I’m not going to allow you to give any more evidence
It is finished
We have enough
For us
I know this means
Enough to shut you up
Enough
To stuff you up
Enough
To let the rapist off
He yells again
We are talking to HIS friends
He says he has more to Show us
I says what?
He goads
“I can’t tell you that…”

Police are like a gang
with the perpetrator
I can’t explain
This terror

I have no more breath
I try to ring my next appointment
I picked up the phone and all that
Came out were sobs and screams
And tears
I could not speak any more
It was just the hairdresser
He said Oh oh
Call the doctor
I said it’s ok
I’m not ill
Just scared
Just scared
That’s all.
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©GS
🦋

#AnnaJuliet #GirlSurvivor #RapeSurvivor #BelieveHer #NoMore #StopRape #BreakThe Silence #DontBeSilenced #AbuseSurvivor #WomensLivesMatter #GirlsLivesMatter #PoliceBrutality #InstitutionalMisogyny #EndVictimShaming

Keep Writing

Keep Writing

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We keep writing out the silences
Hoping for a remission
In this constant oppression
Me and my sisters
Report men’s crimes
Like it’s our own confession
Still we live with this daily suppression
Police say things like
You liked him
By your own admission
By your manner and your
Underwear
You gave him permission
I cannot live in this
Derogatory rule
The one that taught me
I am secondary
Since before school
You are a minor
Then you are a female
be good and respectable
This includes
A blind eye to abuse
A woman’s truth
Eradication of my youth
& My right to choose
My right to refuse
business-woman-writing-at-desk
We keep writing out the silences
Speaking out
And paying the price for it
Those saying I am not nice for it
Those saying I am full of lies for it
We have evidence to back up our
Meticulous truth
The brutes have only
Their brutality
Their numbers and
The so -called legal system
in all it’s glory
Their ignorance and dismissal
Of trauma
and injury
Their deliberate blind stupidity
Determination to silence us
no matter the violence
Keep racking up our sufferance
We already extended our tolerance
Beyond all
What normality
Could comprehend
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Rape is a hate crime
Not an I can’t wait crime
It is a crime of anger
Bitterness of entitled men
Who refuse to regard
Certain of us as human
And their sleazeball
Cowardly friends
Who lie for them
and back them.
Desire for
what he thinks
he can’t have

A woman or girl leaves the
Situation distressed
Dishevelled
Feeling like hell
Because of how he,
the perpetrator
treated her.
Who scorned
And unleashed contempt
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Then one day
When a kind man
Held me in his arms
I didn’t know
What it was like
To be with someone
Who respected my no
Who cares enough
It mattered to him
Without an argument
Without coercion,
Rage
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I keep writing the truth on every page

©GS

Look

Look

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See yourself thru my eyes,
I wish I could always
See myself thru yours,
One who loves you
and adores what
You think are your flaws

©GS
you are beautiful

#AnnaJuliet #LoveYourself #GirlSurvivor  #BeYourOwnBestFriend
#NeverGiveUp #YouAreBeautiful  #YouAre Enough #YouRock
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Just as you are.
♥GS

I, You

I, You

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Am I finished
Have I lost who I was?
Am I gone
Was I cut up?
I don’t make sense any more
Can you see me
Am I whole?
Do you think less of me
Am I human
Do I have a soul still?
Am I shattered
Am I defiled
Am I soiled
Am I barren
Am I devastated
Have I lost my desirability?
My mojo
My zest
My attraction
My sweetness
My light?
My music

For so
Many months
I could not touch my own body
After rape
Have they bled me dry
Did he finish me?
Waste me
Did he succeed
To violate me to
Oblivion?
Space.
Am I in a graveyard
Am I gone?
Could you still
Love me like
This,
Do you, still, could
You?
Could you take me in
Your arms and
Not see the damage?
What do you see?

I said
Do you think less of me?
You said,
Because of what happened? No
If anything I think more of you.
How can this be ?
Sometimes I think
Am I charity
Am I worthy?
Can I say,  I love you
Am I less?
Am I equal
Can I be?
Can I find peace  after
This devastation
Am I allowed to ?
Why did I have to go through this?

A  perpetrator can’t do time, no
He can leave destruction  in his wake
And no one disturbs his day
He never faced prison
Did he even take a day off work?
No hospital
No examination room
No prophylactic drugs given
Too late
No waiting for results of HIV
No racking your brains for where to live safely
How to live in fear
How to avoid every man who comes near
Now that I can’t even look one in the eye
Did I die?
What about my time
Am I a whore?
Marked
Why did I go through
This punishment?
No one could save me
Why did I deserve this year of
exile to hell?
After something someone chose
To do
and silenced
Stonewalled

You, my trusted friend,
You sat there with me
Listening
When I cried
You sometimes said nothing
You believed in me
When I thought
I had already died
You held onto me  when
I spoke out
I  objected
That an assailant’s desires
And anger came
Before my rights
Before mine
Override everything I had.
They can take a woman
And just dismiss her
Say she wanted what he just took
Doesn’t even count that she said
No
She Is injured and devastated
Throwing up, bleeding
and she was
Celibate
Yes

You were the first one to say
“Guys who do this,
Why should it be
Kept a secret?”

You drove me
Down to the sea
Sit quietly
While I weep
All this, can you
Stomach it
Is it part of me?

I won’t dump it on you
But where does it go?
I feel like you helped me shovel it away
All that shit that covered me
And doesn’t belong on me
Or anywhere here
But leaves it’s smear
How do you look me in the face,
Eat breakfast with me?
Sip coffee
Put your arms around me?
Tell me you’re proud
Let your cat climb on me
Let him loose with me
Tell me you trust me
Play music with me
Cry with me
How do you do these things?
Let me in your house
Even when you’re out
These things mean a lot
I wake in the night
Aching for you
And something I never tell you
It doesn’t go away
When I realise
And I’m still
Cut up inside
There were moments of peace
where I felt truly alive still
With you I can breathe
I feel free
I think,  can I, how can?
Would you
Could you
Vojnar1BrokenFlowers
©GS

#AnnaJuliet #GirlSurvivor #BelieveHer #BreaktheSilence

On Consent

On Consent

miguel-salgado-160276
We need to reclaim our own
agency
our body is our own and
belongs to nobody
it is not an object
or territory
over which men
-or anyone-
fight,
mark as possession
dominate or discard
and ravage
and leave devastated
when they finish
scorched earth
and try to poison
when he cannot have
jeopardise
our way of communicating
for us, women and girls
and for boys and other men
No one but you
Has the right
to tell you what you want
or wanted
or that you agreed
when you never consented
or you were pressed
to sign a blank check
and never saw the
small print
consent is an agreement
in full knowledge
of what is coming
and the right to refuse
without consequences
not a con trick
where you were cornered
and depleted of your senses
It is your body and
yours alone
you are beautiful
You are human
andrik-langfield-petrides-270368
©GS

Photos with thanks to Miguel Salgado and Andrik Langfield-Petrides
#RapeSurvivor #Girlsurvivor #Consent #NonConsent #NotOkay #DontBeSilenced #MeToo

My Body is a War Zone

My Body is a War Zone

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My body is a war zone
Fields of devastation
Left on her barren plains
Bombs and rockets 
have exploded here.
I pick up the shattered pieces
And try to 
Put them back together
With tears
That will not come
Shaking and numb 
I make my way 
Across the battle ground
The used condoms
He tossed aside
For me to clear up
He derides
Yells at me
To pick up his clothes
“Pick up my pants!” He shouts
I bend down 
I acquiesce 
In silence
I do what he says

Am I broken?
I don’t know yet
he told me
“Sex is the test”
If there is 
No connection.
I failed
I showed emotion,
Only distress.
He complained
He saw
Sadness in my eye
I could not 
Pretend pleasure
Not even
For him
For this
My screams
Put him off 
His climax
His stroke 
Kept going
Hard
Like
ice 
Concrete
Fire
..
Blood 
no blood
Robotic 
Fear
Breath 
in me
Quiet
Rising
Stifled
Cries
I could not
Struggle
Move
Not
My hips
My arms
I was stilled
To a silent 
Stupid
Stunned rabbit.
Stupid
Contortion
Stupid
Heart beat
Stupid
Stupid
Me

These are
Some of 
The feelings
Irrelevant
To the man 
Who rang me
Early morning
From the police

I’m not interested
In your feelings
He shouts
I’m not saying
I disbelieve you
He says
What is there
To disbelieve?
What is there
Left of me?

When I can
Still breathe
When my 
Chest
Has stopped
Seizing
When I have
Woken still
On the floor
Because
Once more
I could not 
Face
The bed

Then
When,
Then 
You can
Judge me
wanting.
I could not..
I failed

D’you want us
To investigate?!
He yells
Crack of dawn
Me, broken
Again
Are you 
going 
to co-operate?!
He interrogates
My broken body
My broken sobs
“Yes”
I say

No
 
“No,” is not a word
These men
Like this 
Can take
Yes,
No 
It’s the same
To them

No! a stifled scream
Woman
Held within,
Crushed
Like my music
That stopped.
Like the blood
That ceased 
Flowing
From my womb
That day,
The day
He 
invaded
My everything
With his hard
Calloused being

Determined
His
Hard
His erection
That did not
Care for
My feeling
My pain
My screams
on repeat
Like a rhythm
My fear,
His aphrodisiac

My fear
My stillness
My quaking,
His opportunity 

He laughs at 
My terror
My horror
My sickness 
My devastate.
My room
That swims
Before his
Realisation 
Of Sudden fun
In all this 
Premeditation
Now 
Protection off,
Protection gone
The chance  
To force pregnancy
against
Everything
I believe

Now
He knows 
he truly
discovered
The essence
Of me

“I’d better not 
intimidate you”
He’d said
Yesterday, 
My timidity
A station
Where he could park
His things
His anger
His directions
His misogyny
His pornographic dream

Control,
Demands.
Blindness
To my rising despair

He vents 
His demons
Hatred
He tried
To bury them
Deep inside me
As he could squeeze..
Intimate
As could be

We cannot compare it
To the personal trauma
That rages through veins
Pistol fire across my boundaries 
What he did
Broke me apart  
The pieces of shattered me
Cracked open
For everyone to see
Everywhere I turn
the perpetrator’s friends
What’s next? Public humiliation? 
Men like him
Are judge and jury

No locks changed
No alarms 
Can make me feel safe
He may come back again one day
The depth of this fear
I cannot explain.. 

Afterwards
he wrote me
a letter which says
“I felt I was
abandoning
you to a fate
Worse than death” 
Like a prophecy
A hex 

Try talking therapy, they say
Are you joking?
As if I didn’t do that anyway
A prison 
I cannot escape
While he
Walks free
Every day
From this  war crime

I, still being tried
Still justifying
Still unable
To adequately explain
To fully comprehend

©GS
3 April 2017

They say rape is used as a weapon of war. I want to acknowledge that sexual violence is a very real war on women and girls in world wide culture, right here and now. And of course on the men and boys who have also been subjected to this dreadful act. We hear you too. To understand that this crime takes your soul and rearranges it into little shattered pieces. It takes your sexuality and drives a dagger through it. It takes your self esteem and screws it up and throws it away. It takes your former life and throws it out of the window. If you are still standing, sitting or even lying down and still breathing after that, you are a true survivor. Even if you think no one hears you, I hear you. Other survivors hear you. reach out and try to find. Never give up. People love you Xxx ©GS

Rain.org US rape crisis .800.656.4673
UK National rape crisis 0808 802 9999
Contact your sexual assault referral centre
SARC (or London Haven)
http://www.facebook.com/girlsurvivor

Photo with thanks to Christopher Campbell
#RapeSurvivor #MyBody #Myvoice #MyBodyisAWarZone #WeBelieveHer #WomensLivesMatter

He Drinks

He Drinks

alcohol-abuse
He drinks
To blot things out
So he can shout
So he can hurt
To give him confidence in a crowd
To stop him feeling shy
So he can look a woman in the eye
To give him something
To hold in his hand
To feel like a big man
To smell of alchohol
So you can taste stale beer
So you can feel sick when he comes near
So you can know fear
So you can be afraid to shed tears
So you can be in a refuge for a year
So he can express his love
So he can show his hate
So he can cry when it is too late
So he can see your body shake
So he can eat and have his cake
So he can watch your heart ache
So he can justify his mistakes
To give him an excuse for what he did
and when he flips
So he can say he’s sorry it was just a blip
So you can blame something else when he hits
So he can get you to help him quit
So he can go into a jealous fit
So he can be hyped up
He can be a jealous nut
So he can be the absolute pits
So he can beat you with same old schtick
Bruise your skin that never did grow thick
Despite you know he’s a total prick
And what he says doesn’t mean shit
And no one understands
Why you put up with it
Every time he comes near you, you feel sick
He drinks and drinks
You pray it will end
It will change
So he can come into your room in a rage
It’s up to you to calm him or he’ll make you pay
Doesn’t matter what you say
What you gave
It’s up to you to save
To give him immunity
So he can rape with impunity
He drinks
He didn’t think
So he can say
It was just the drink
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©GS

#HeDrinks #GirlSurvivor #Abuse #Consent #Woman #RapeSurvivor