When all the Misfits

When all the Misfits

ūüíĖ You don’t have to rise above anything
nude 5
When all the misfits
Come together
and speak about feeling apart

When all of us
Say what is in our heart
We make truth
We make art

nude 10
Even when
everything is gone
You feel weak
you carry on

You are courageous
You are strong
Speak out
Or don’t speak out
cropped-woman-silheoutte.png
It is up to you
it’s your shout

You owe nobody
Your story
Your account
Your words
Your report
cropped-hiding-woman-zukuri-unltd.jpg
You know
You can share
or not share
what you survived

You’re amazing
You are enough
You are here
through all the fear
and all the doubt
all the pain
all the hell
when you thought
you’d never see
the other side
Realise
what you’ve achieved,
You’re alive

keenan-constance-359284
©GS

If you feel like an outsider, trust me, you are not alone. You belong. ¬† ¬†You deserve to be heard. If¬†you have been ostracised for speaking out, or told off because you didn’t- or how, or when you did, ¬† I salute you- for still being here and keeping going as best you can. ¬†You are immense. Nobody has the right to diminish you.¬† Survivors’ healing is impaired by the bullying we can experience when most of all we need support- You should expect to be listened to and treated with respect and care. ¬†You don’t have to put up with being shouted at, mocked , doubted or harassed when you reach out.¬† Women and girls’ accounts and reports matter- ¬† It’s time we demand our voice has equal place, in this system that has silenced us for so long. ¬©GS

Photos with thanks to Zukuri and Constance Keenan
‚ÄúYou don‚Äôt have to rise above anything‚ÄĚ .. kind comment from activist and poet Musa Owkonga

#WhenalltheMisfits #BreakTHeSilence #GirlSurvivor #RapeSurvivor #MeToo #BelieveHer #NoMore

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

christopher-campbell-30252.jpg
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
abuse-quote-10-1-healthyplace
©GS

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