A Poem for Victims of Domestic Violence

By Susan Giles Wantuck


. . .
Susan Giles Wantuck, News & Classical Music Host for WUSF Public Media, was struck by how many tabs were torn off this page at a local Urgent Care facility, and inspired to write this poem.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can find help through the kind folk listed at the bottom of this page.

. . .

. . .

Someone made you feel so small,
They stole your voice away. Made you sorry for being you.
Made you feel that the black eyes and purple evidence of pain that mark you,
are all your fault.

All your fault. 

You were the one that made them hit you, hurt you, beat you black and blue, they say.
They put their virulent-veined faces too close to yours and screamed until spit splashed your face.
The late-night tears and heart cries at the doors of rooms you were locked out of,
tumbling tears puddled on the porcelain tile, making the floor wet with misery and your multiplied loss of dignity. 

First, they take away your you-ness, then they strip you of your family and friends,
under the umbrella of wanting you all to themselves. 

These tricksters enfold you with their silky-sounding words.  They wine and dine you.
And then when you are all alone and trapped in their sticky, silken web of words, the steely sadistic hardness of their hatred flashes and is revealed.

There is escape, there is a way back to beautiful you. 

Open the door to the 2-1-1 call and get yourself away. . .

to freedom. . .  freedom from fear and feeling so low
and the soul-shaking knowledge that someone so hateful would hurt you,
just for being you. 

Fly butterfly, fly now.  Just as soon as you can. 

Help awaits.

. . 

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse,
you can find help through these good people
. . .

Florida Domestic Violence Hotline

CASA Pinellas – Community Action Stops Abuse
24-Hour Hotline 727-0
TTY 727-828-1269

The Spring of Tampa Bay
24-Hour Hotline 813-
TTY 813-248-1050

The Network/La Red
24-hour hotline at 800-832-1901 provides confidential emotional support, information, referrals, safety planning and crisis intervention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and/or transgender LGBQ/T folks, as well as folks in SM/kink and polyamorous communities who are being abused or have been abused by a partner

You can find a Personal Safety Plan here and Helpful Resources here
thanks to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

photo by Susan Giles Wantuck

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