Monday, October 3, 2011

Fight Against Violence

The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987. During that same year, the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was initiated. Although we need to be aware and fight against domestic violence all year long, I want to highlight a few things today.

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse presents itself in many forms such as physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological. Domestic violence can occur with people of every gender, race, religion, socioeconomic status, age, sexual orientation, and education level.

If you are in an abusive relationship, know that there is help and you are not alone in your struggle. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) provides advocates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist victims, or anyone calling on their behalf, with crisis intervention, safety planning and local referrals. The website,, offers a plethora of information for victims and anyone who suspects their loved one may be in an abusive relationship. Another great resource is the book by Lundy Bancroft titled Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.

Below is the piece I wrote that was published in last year's The Purple Poetry Book in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. My hope is that you will all be safe.

silent no more

he tried to break me
when I thought I could take no more
he proved he wasn’t done
he wanted to crush me
but I’ma shine through it
I’ma soar above all the bullshit
transcend that tiny bag of tricks
assume responsibility for my life

I got wings, can’t you see?
I’m a survivor
I’m already free
my anger is real and justified
thankfully it’s led me to open my eyes
the secret has been revealed

I now comprehend that it’s all a game
he thought he was winning at hopscotch
him throwing rocks, me jumping in a box
as I open the chess board I realize none of this is personal
we are at war and it’s a shame
but I finally got the rules to this ole game
entitlement, control, manipulation are the moves
acquiescence, keeping the peace is how we lose

I am silent no more
I must speak for my sisters who can’t
because of the bullets in their heads or the knives in their chests
I must speak for my sisters
who are too afraid and have not yet understood
if they don’t walk out, they will be carried out
I must speak for my sisters
who only see the physical
and don’t yet understand the impact of slowly dying
mentally and spiritually
I must speak for my brothers
cause they are overlooked and disbelieved
I must speak for the children
who don’t know any other way
who think this is how life is supposed to be lived
I must speak to a system that perpetuates the torture
that holds us in contempt and does not keep us safe

they say a rose by any other name is still a rose
well abuse by any other name is still abuse
I am silent no more.

Shahmet Gordon © 2010

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