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  1. Sugar coated words

    Some days I welcome the frost in the mirror,

    too unbreakable to reflect crystal thoughts,

    Stones rattling for each word thrown in discarded arrogance,

    Barely skimming the surface as I casually toss them aside.

    Some days I am on the run,

    A fake criminal with no record, only the sentence has already been given,

    Judge and jury lining up one by one

    Ready to hurtle sugar coated undertones of narrative, silent accusations.

    However far away I am sent,

    Through the raging underbelly of a swirling mist or banished to the darkest corners,

    I still exist                                                                                

    I am ready.

    I have survived!

    © Elizabeth Shane – (From Behind the Mask)

    Available on

    Posted 15 June 2023
  2. You & Me

    Thank you to the survivor who submitted this poem, and the five other poems published over the past few days. We really appreciate you sharing your words with us and other survivors.

    A year

    since you started to help my broken




    Comfort film with

    pancake making

    Sleeping with you – my naked person

    Valentine’s day chocolates and prosecco in


    When the stitches


    I held onto


    Violent crying I can’t                                                                                   (stop)

    Raw emotions that open

    up the wound

    Phantom pains

    Force memories back

    But you are here

    Holding onto me too

    fish and chips and

    good sex

    Your voice comforting me on the train



    I was broken

    I was no longer me

    Now I am me

    Me with you

    Posted 7 September 2021
  3. i want to write a happy poem

    i want to write a happy poem

    but while I’m still sad

    you make me safer

    anchored to your body

    my fingertips graze over your chest

    following to your nipples and collarbone

    kissing you, chin to cheek

    your lips on my neck and hands giving me heat


    i wear your hoodie to have your arms around

    me again

    outlining my smiles with your finger

    we wait for the miles between us to cease

    your hands in my hair again

    brushing your fingers through it

    you like my cheeky grin

    hands that warm mine

    and fit as if by design.

    Posted 6 September 2021
  4. i smiled through the pain

    i smiled through the pain in the morning

    as I knew you’d have to


    i kissed you goodbye

    now I can only cry

    i feared the thud would be heard through the


    violence echoes in the silence

    now I just have blood

    a bruised body

    and pain where I sit

    is this what I get for being called fit?

    Posted 5 September 2021
  5. i let you in

    i let you in

    so I deserved the cries of pain

    i felt the shame





    it’s my fault, I repeat

    a mantra, as I destroy the sheets

    my mind in constant retreat

    the guilt is all


    Posted 4 September 2021
  6. Ghost

    You’re my ghost.

    In the back of my mind.

    The night we spent together haunting me.

    Where are you?

    Your name makes me shudder.

    I recognise the smell of you.

    Leave me alone!

    Invading my thoughts and fantasies…

    Biting kisses, forceful pushes and cries of pain.

    Your fingers snake around my neck.

    In my mouth.

    I beg, I turn away, push you off me.


    Again and again and again.

    Removing your hand again, again.

    Clutching at the mattress with no relief.

    Moaning in fear of force.

    Blood splattered.

    Squeezing me tight.

    I close my eyes.

    And then your hand goes again.

    I go quiet.

    Staring at my shelves.

    Rectangular, ordered.

    Block it out.

    I sleep with my arms around you,

    We kiss goodbye.

    Sitting in the showers I cry.


    I can’t sit.

    I can’t pee.

    What’s happened to me?

    Only I cry and hold the pain.

    In the darkness you push my head down again.

    Body broken, bruised in bad places.

    I must carry on, this is just another


    The chance I have you after your call to meet

    Small talk.

    Excuses at every block.

    Confusion at every question.



    Every place on campus,

    A tag on Facebook,

    Snagging at memories.

    Me gagging.

    Your words burn.

    I struggle to see anything worth inside of me.

    Posted 3 September 2021
  7. All Women

    A survivor has sent some poems to share with here with other survivors. Watch this space for more poems.

    I had my first crush when I was 11.

    Soft, excited, feelings – a high five, a hello made my day.

    I was 12 when I was first asked out by a boy.

    I was 13 when the boy sitting next to me in Geography class asked if a guy had popped my cherry yet.

    I was 14 when I was first catcalled and honked at on a run.

    I was 18 when I was told I was expected to dress more conservatively.

    And at 19 I was sexually abused and I thought my life was over.

    The pain that night – 29 November 2019 – was so bad I thought I was going to die.

    To me it came out of nowhere and it was a completely random event.

    So when at 20 for voicing my opinion that went against the leader of our group I was called aggressive.

    I thought no.

    I am strong. I am feisty. And you don’t like that I have a voice, which goes against yours.

    But too bad, I am here

    and here

    to stay.

    Posted 2 September 2021
  8. Missing You

                          Pearl has contributed a poem about missing the Arts with Hearts group during lockdown.

    Arts With Hearts doesn’t ask: How, When, Where, Why???

    Are you sure???

    They say: “Come in, have tea,

    Sit and watch, express yourself, feel free”.

    No, I can’t crochet, even now,

    But , no matter, I give myself, my time,

    My laughter, I join in, I hear my sound,

    Feel safe, feel part of life,

    Not numb, feel I could be, even ME.

    I’ve noticed colours, CLAY,

    Solid, ever-changing stuff,

    Smoothness, curves scored into rough.

    Textured people in my life are

    Tangled, woven, knitted, knotted,

    I make solid shapes, smooth, reliant, true,

     You might say, “But why, for who?”….

    ME, of course,they’re mine , I did that!! 

    I made that sparkle shine, dull hue, loud voice of colour.

    Prettiness trapped inside me

    Pours out in liquid, fountain-free, 

    Art can SHOUT,

    Can whisper fear, 

    Can cry in pain,

    Can show : “I’M HERE!!!”.

    Posted 14 June 2021
  9. Invisible Damage

    The poem is talking about how we say we’re “fine”, when people ask and don’t show how we really feel, for various reasons, and how important it is to find people (like at RSVP) who we can tell how we really feel

    Pearl is fine, Pearl is free

    But Pearl is trapped

    And Pearl is me.

    You only see the one on show, really not the one you know.

    Sawn in half each side divides,

    Pearl is living in two lives.

    Scythed in two by Virus rules, locked at home,

    No fun in schools, no friends to play, out of Control,

    My head is cut down to my soul.

    Isolation ward is home, only help is down a phone,

    No touch, no love, no shielding arm,

    Alone and scared of any harm,

    Rocking, starving,all those things self-abusive harming brings,

    Making sense more than the lies, strategies and stingy eyes

    From crying. Loss of self, loss of me, controlled, restricted, power-free.

    I’m needing help from someone who sees past the mask

    And guides me through to overcome the big deride,

    My introverted “spoilt” child.

    Yet out in life no-one can tell,

    Pearl is happy, Pearl is well,

    Pearl is fun, she makes you laugh,

    But really Pearl is cut in half.

    Posted 1 June 2021
  10. Grandson

    This poem from Pearl is about the impact of Covid on families and children.


    I put my hands out, little boy

    To dance together, act your play,

    But: “What about the germs?” you say.

    You child of four,

    You precious one

    No touch, no contact,

    No more fun?

    Reminding me who should know more-

    Covid rules, Covid law.

    What life is this?

    Can’t dance my ‘son-

    A person’s life barely begun-

    Like this !!?

    It must be wrong ?

    What’s in your head?

    What make you of  this?

    Masked adults, mustn’t kiss

    We never had before like this,

    Rules on rules

    Locked inside out,

    Timeless hours, screaming sirens, fallen flowers.

    Trembling armies work to save

    Children, finance, dying

    Patients from their graves,

    Screened by plastic PPE,

    I feel so helpless,

    Infant me.

    We never knew, our lives were safe,

    We held each other dear and far,

    You saw my smile,

    My joy in you, life on pause we’re living now,

    I pray there’s time for us to see

    A different future,

    You and me.

    Posted 30 November 2020

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