Redemption: A Poem

i have been unwanted and I have been desired
i have been praised and I have been called names
i have been pushed down and I have been held up 
i have been torn down and I have stood up 
i have been neglected and I have been tended to 
i have been silenced and I have roared 
i have been cut open and I have mended myself 
i have lain open time and time again 
i have spread myself wings akimbo  
i have been quieter and nicer in an effort to be everything for everybody 
but I am an angel in disguise and a bruja 
a crone and a maiden 
a wife and a mistress 
a dream weaver 
a faith keeper 
a woman aging 
who was trifling only because I gave too much with nothing in return 
I am a woman who has been generous to those who don’t deserve it
and tougher on myself than anyone 
I am a woman who has cried in silence and despair in the darkest of hours
while laying beside a so-called lover
and whether you called me  
weak or 
lazy or 
I am all of that and so what? 
look at me now 
standing even taller 
rooted even more deeply 
creating more freely 
growing stronger than 
even you
feared possible. 
-       jessica johnson 2020

Domestic violence comes in many forms. Physical violence, psychological abuse, emotional manipulation, degradation, control, neglect…

With shelter in place orders in effect worldwide, many women find their situations getting worse. From intensified regular abuse to escalating tensions exacerbated by being home with each other (and children) 24/7 and extreme financial stress, partnerships are falling apart and tensions are high.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, calls for domestic violence protective services have risen around the globe. With the weeks after their order went into effect calls in France increased 30%, with double-digit increases documented in Spain, Italy, and elsewhere.

“We’ve been getting some very distressing calls, showing us clearly just how intense psychological as well as physical mistreatment can get when people are kept 24 hours a day together within a reduced space,” said Ana Bella, who set up a foundation to help other women after surviving domestic violence herself. – as quoted in the above mentioned article.

If you need help, please reach out.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available around the clock and in more than 200 languages: call 1-800-799-SAFE or chat with their advocates here or text LOVEIS to 22522.

For immediate dangers, call 911.

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