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  1. Poem by a survivor

    A survivor has kindly asked us to share the following piece of poetry.  Writing poetry can help survivors find their voices during difficult and stormy times.  We are very grateful to the survivor for sharing their poetry and we hope it can help other survivors too.

    Feeling in Turmoil

    Feeling in turmoil, like a boat tossed around in turbulent swells.
    Remembering, like watching a 3d film, looking on. Watching. Listening. Feeling.
    Distant yet there.
    Removed. Not reacting. Submitting. Conforming. Letting it happen. Confused.


    Acknowledging my responsibilities as a child were not as an adult’s.
    I was there. It was happening to me yet….
    It was not my fault.
    It was not my fault, just as I am not responsible for the storms at sea.
    It was not my fault, for I was the child in his care.
    It was not my fault, even though my adult mind may creep in thoughts that it was.



    Heading into calmer waters and seeing things through clearer glass.
    Talking to someone who is not shocked, who listens and has the patience to hear what I don’t say.
    Attempting to let go from trying to process myself
    Memories stirred up, triggered by normal events of life.
    My mind dealing with a torrent of emotion, feelings so real, inside so deep.


    There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Boats are not designed to stay in harbours yet sail free.
    My life, my boat, it’s resting in calm safe shores.
    Being repaired of the unseen damage not spoken of from years gone by.
    Rotten wood being gently unearthed and exposed to see the true beauty that lies beneath.
    A hull being restored-stronger without blemish or scarring from its past.
    That’s my boat. It will be.
    Heading out into the oceans of life, not looking back.

    Posted 17 December 2017
  2. A Poem by Emma

    Emma is a survivor who has started to write poetry to help healing, expression and coping. We hope her words might help you too. Thank you Emma for sharing.


    A long time coming


    Rape lasts longer than a moment,

    Rape burns an imprint into the self.


    Rape strips more than the outside

    It thieves the words from your frightened mouth.

    It makes you think you are different,

    Like you’re deserving of this sin.

    It cripples up the body

    It freezes up the skin.


    Should you ever meet a person,

    Who has survived this evil act.

    They’ve discovered the gift of healing.

    Found blessing in attack.


    The breadth of their compassion,

    The depth within their soul,

    The challenges they’ve faced,

    Just to learn they’re more than whole.


    Rape can last a lifetime,

    Even if just a moment it may last,

    Yet the power, with own permission can be restored,

    The pain, the silence, the past.

    Posted 9 December 2017
  3. Spirit of Strength

    Spirit of strength

    At RSVP we salute the strength, courage and resilience of the people that we support.  This inspiring and beautiful poem written by Zoe celebrates these qualities and describes her journey to re-discover her voice and use its power to speak out for justice.



    You took my dance and you took my song

    You took so much while I was so young

    You stole my smile and you stole my laugh

    The girl I was, you tore her apart


    With your cruel words and your violent deeds

    Your only thought – to fulfill your needs

    You took my trust and you took my care

    You made me wish that I wasn’t there


    Made me believe for so many years

    That what you did was what I deserved

    The words I’d carved deep into my skin,

    They spoke the truth of who lay within


    These words, I now see of who they speak

    Of those so cold, disgusting and weak

    You’re many faces and many names

    But underneath you’re all the same


    Cowards and bullies, men with no souls

    To hurt and shame – your pathetic goals!

    But with all the things you took away

    You failed to see what it was you gave


    My strength of spirit is thanks to you

    My courage and resilience too

    And now I can speak of what you’ve done

    To you, I will make sure justice comes!




    Picture credit – Strength by Colleen McMahon used under a Creative Commons licence.


    Posted 13 January 2017

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