Monday, 18 November 2013

White Ribbons

The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on men and women working together to end violence against women and girls.

It is an international campaign, which promotes two weeks of action every year and includes November 25th, International White Ribbon Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women.

In Cardigan on Monday, November 25th, West Wales Women’s Aid and Small World Theatre are staging an event to release loads of white balloons. It’s at 1pm at Small World Centre.

In Carmarthen there is a Candlelight Walk on Thursday, November 28th, starting at 5pm at the Market Clock Tower.  The walk will finish at the Guildhall steps, where there will be a reflection to remember women who have died as a result of male violence, followed by some speakers.  Refreshments will be served at the offices of Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Services and Hafan Cymru, at 5-6, Queens Street.

White Ribbon day is about showing the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women.

Men wearing the white ribbon are saying loud and clear that they will never condone, take part in or remain silent about domestic abuse against women.

I wrote this last year for a Women’s Aid poetry reading event:

My Secret Place

You can hit me with your words,
you can slap me with your insults,
bruise me with your fingers,
break my face with your fist.
You can make me ...  make me.
You can stop me, you can lock me in,
cut me with your knives,
break my bones with your hands,
throw me with your drunkenness;
accuse me, refuse me, abuse me.

You smash my head into the door frame,
blood pours from my nose.
I dare not cry, I dare not look at you,
I dare not.
Blood splashes the wall and the floor,
my dress.
Grab my dress,
rip the cotton from shoulder to waist,
clench your fist on my breast.
I swallow cries of pain,
A punch in the stomach, I double up,
your knee hits my chin,
I fall. You kick. I hold my head.

Please stop please stop please stop

You take my hand, place it on the floor and
you slam the door;
bones crack.
I am so far away now I do not feel the pain.
You kick me in the back. Kidneys.
You slam the door as you leave, turn the lock.
I am going for a drink, you say,
you have had enough.

You did this yesterday,
you will do it tomorrow,
and the day after, you will never stop.
You can do all this, but you will not win.
You can beat me and rape me,
but you can’t defeat me.

I have a secret place in me
that even you cannot reach.
Here rests a tiny hope,
a small knot of inspiration.
In here I keep my little store of love,
and my cunning and my planning.
Here, is my tiny power,
nurtured by a scrap of hope.

I will be free of you.

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