Tag Archives: Domestic violence

Losing count

Speaking to no-one in particular, he says she’s spoken for,
but wanting something more her young heart breaks in two,
inside himself, to no-one else, he tells her that she’s the one,
but it’s been too long since he has spoken these three words.

Back home, she opens her mouth, and his anger and fists begin to rise,
she closes her eyes, and tries to hide, to put all of this out of her mind,
she pictures in her mind’s eye the softer touches of other calmer nights,
as she reaches out, with pleading in her eyes,  he reacts back, and

That was that. .

The morning after, her cheeks are bruised and smudged with mascara,
she goes to work and thinks of nothing but him and her cracking heart,
she knows her mind is crumbling and it’s not just her bodies that suffering,
there and then, she says, enough is enough, I won’t take this no more.

He stops in his tracks, he’s been walking the streets running from himself,
his mind is dwelling on the job he doesn’t have, and his fists are swollen,
He stops and stares, but does not dare, to dwell on his aching heart,
that is overflowing with the shame. Who is this man that he has become?

With his body numb, and this thought dwelling on his mind, tears starts roll,
down go his defences and down goes the possibility of carrying on as if nothing,
is going down. His hands tremble and his legs give way. Sitting there slumped,
he knows he can’t get much lower, and so he too decides to lift himself up.

Staring at her own front door she resolves that she’s worth something more,
turning on her heel she takes hold of herself and her trembling hands,
she strides with small steps away from her house and her home, all alone,
she walks and turns the corner of her street and her life and resolves that,

never again will he cause her mascara to streak….

Turning his keys, he realises his hands are shaking and his stomach is turning,
with flowers in hand, bought with an empty wallet he wipes away his tears,
stepping over the doormat, he resolved this would be the fresh start they need,
he drops his car keys onto an empty hallway table where her car keys should be.

The silence engulfs him. Finally, whispering to no-one, he says those three words,

she’s the one, and there and then, his heart starts to break in two.

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Filed under Social comment, Spoken Word

We are man!

Stop. If you are man, watch the video before going any further.

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. On average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lives.

There are many overlapping and exceptionally complicated reasons to why this problem remains so prevalent. A few thousand years of patriarchy probably doesn’t help; but I believe that the deep rooted stereotypes of gender also play a significant part in perpetuating this problem.

I have already had the experience of seeing people I care about being beaten and manipulated by partners that stated they loved them. It is totally unacceptable, and yet good, well meaning friends and family help to perpetuate the problem through their use of language and behaviour.

The video represents an extreme example, but it serves to highlight that fine line between banter amongst (normally male) mates and totally unacceptable comments. To understand this, you have to understand violence against women as more than simply physical violence. There are forms of emotional violence – from sexist joking, to sexual harassment at work, to other domineering forms of behaviour. By remaining silent about these things, we become complicit in creating both immediate conditions to allow this behaviour to persist but also the long term culture that fosters these views and actions.

We live in an age where 1 in 4 men believe a woman is partially responsible for being raped if she wears provocative clothing. A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped. There is an attitude that helps to dehumanise woman to such an extent, men can rationalise the most unacceptable behaviour. It is up to us to look and try and understand how we have ended up in a situation where so many hold such fundamentally unacceptable ideas.

I hope that by being quite funny and appealing to our “inner man” that this video will help us down the long and exceptionally slow road to tackling the social and cultural norms that allow these levels of violence to persist. Hopefully it will allow us to once more proudly proclaim that We are Man!


Filed under Health, Human rights