Domestic Abuse Stories Alice's Poem What I want people to know Everybody knew him As a friend and family man. All of them oblivious To the fact it was a sham. If inside the walls we lived People could only see; Just how much he bullied And controlled, every part of me. The village that I used to love Ignored the many signs. Of the violence that I suffered And the ties, that did bind. I lost track, by his hands How many injuries I suffered; But I am still here living, And that is all that matters. Excuses that I often gave For bruises that I gained. Nobody ever questioned, Just how, they were obtained. No one would ever believe me, He'd made it very plain. Because it was common knowledge, That I was quite insane. He was the only person Who'd love me that I could see. I knew for fact, that I was trapped, And I could never be free. He was incredibly cunning, Like many men of his kind. Knew that of my plight, Ev'ryone would be quite blind. Nobody can ever know, What happens behind a door. How quickly shouting and control, To violence it can soar. They cannot see, just how much, You live in total fear. Of a man who can turn nasty, With or without beer. If people knew, just what went on, Walk away they would say. Don’t realise that you have no choice, Only option is to stay. Abusers like him, have control Of body and of mind. Trapped in a place of his choosing, Is likely, you will find. As a race, us humans, Don’t like to get involved. But until we do the situation Won’t ever be resolved. People are so very terrified, That they are all alone. That nobody would believe them, If they picked up the phone. These bullies in amongst our midst, Can be just anyone. Your brother, lover, friend or mum; Could even be your son. Please don’t be duped into thinking, They just couldn’t do it. That false belief that you hold, Means more people could be hit. Anyone can end up Abused by those they love dear. Two point three million people Go through it every year. Sixteen per cent of violent crime Is domestic abuse. Yet most crimes are not reported, People know there is no use. "So what signs should we look for?" I hear you all ask. "What can we do, to help to bring These abusers to task?" Abusers they are clever, They will keep injuries from sight. Don’t want all the bad things, that they've done to come to the light. There isn’t one sign in victims, For you to look out for. They used to look you in the eye, But now look at the floor. There once was a time, they went out; But now they stay at home. Cos for them, life’s not their own, They've no freedom, with which to roam. In their pockets, they used to have, Their own money which to spend. Instead its spent, by the person, That they will always defend. They used to have lots of family And friends to call their own. But now they have nobody, So their secrets are not known. The person that, you once knew well, Will be different from before. As their confidence is chipped at By one rotten to the core. Although they may still be smiling, You won’t see it in their eyes. To hide what is happening, Out of their mouths, will come some lies. Over time many will become, A shell of who you knew. You'll tell yourself "you couldn’t know", "That there wasn’t a clue." Deep down however, you knew that Something had not been right. You kept your worries to yourself Cos it was not your fight. Ev'ry single one of us, knows someone Who has been through this. Most of us won’t say anything Just live our lives of bliss. One sixth of men, a third of women Go through it in their life. They can’t escape, because for them, It would only bring more strife. No one should have to live a life, That is so full of fear; But abuse is still so hidden, A fact that is so clear. Abusers should be punished, For the crimes that they have done. Yet sadly this is not the case, As many get to run. Many people call us victims, Which in some ways is true; But we prefer survivors, Because we made it through. Unfortunately, for everyone This is not the case. Two point six people every week, Meet their resting place. So if in time, you find, Something feels a little bit wrong. Find a way to offer aid, Help a person to be strong. Statistics show, one day it will be, Somebody you hold dear; Who may be hiding secrets, And living their lives in fear. Lots of people knew What I was living with every day. Abuse you just don’t talk about, Not one asked "you ok?" It takes so long to recover From years of such torment. I'm grateful I found writing, A chance to heal and vent. I'm grateful that I'm still here, I know that I was lucky. I'm damaged but I'm still alive, And I can still be quite plucky. My trust has gone, my life has changed, But I had good guidance. If reading this rings a bell, Please, don’t sit in silence.