This month, poet Laura Neil (21) from Durham has written a poem that has been inspired by stories from survivors of domestic violence. Sophia Network believe that it is unacceptable for women, men and children to be abused and we support organisations like Restored, who are seeking to address this issue both here and overseas.
When you have read the poem and reflected on it perhaps you will consider advocating on behalf of those who are abused, by taken some of the actions shared by Mandy Marshall from Restored below.
Is this what my life is meant to be?
Should I be abused?
Is this normal?
Should I live in fear of my husband?
Do you know the impact his has on me?
Should I be afraid to stand up for myself?
What have I done to deserve this?
Is it because I’m a woman?
Am I to blame?
Am I the only one?
Does this define me?
Why did I let this happen?
Is this what love is?
Why don’t I protect myself?
Why don’t I speak up?
Why do I stay with him?
When will this nightmare end?
Will it end?
Does anyone know this is happening to me?
What can I do to stop this?
Can anyone help me?
Violence can result in physical scars, mental scars, sexual scars and more.
It can happen privately where no one knows what’s going on.
I am one of 35% of women worldwide who face violence 24/7.
There are organisations to support me.
There are people who can help me.
But I’m scared.
I don’t know what to do.
I need help.
I just want to run away.
This should not happen.
This should not be the norm.
This does not just happen to me.
This does not define me.
I am a woman but… I do have rights.
I can have a better future.
I will be rid of this nightmare.
Will you help me?
Will you stand up for me?
Or will you ignore my plea for help?
Will you turn a blind eye?
Will you let others go through this?
I CAN ESCAPE!!
I WILL BE FREE!!
Mandy Marshall from Restored challenges us to be advocates for ending domestic violence.
- Check your own attitudes and actions. Have you believed some of the myths around abuse? See Restored's short film here.
- Speak up and speak out: break the silence, shame and stigma around abuse. Start by downloading Restored's church pack and passing it on to your church leader.
- Pray for and give to organisations addressing the issue. It's tough going and organisations need to know they are supported in what they do.
If you are currently experiencing domestic abuse, you can find help here.