Words with Elizabeth…when the fairy tale unravels

this is for you if once-upon-a-time you started off with your hands full, walking towards your promises with all the faith and trust and love, believing that it was all going to be fine, you with your soft heart, you with your soft skin, you who learnt how to wrap your arms around your head, and your body, and your children, you who knows how to turn the other cheek, your whole body, you who knows how to undress so that the bruises don’t show, you with your mouth full of ordinary stories, stories that know how to fall out of an unwilling mouth, stories that know how to cover fractures and bruises, you who took all the thread you had in your deep pockets, you who made a life out of trying to stitch up the holes, you who knows how to cover things, you who knows how to dress things up, you who knows how to darn and how to make something out of nothing, only to find the fabric tearing away, thinning itself, unwilling to be made into anything beautiful, already threadbare from the start, you who doesn’t know which way to turn, you who prays for things they have stopped believing will ever come, you who lives invisible, you who is owned, you who wants out, you whose every cell contains fear.

this is for you.

© Liezel Graham 2022


{My stitching project, Words with Elizabeth, is about domestic violence. I am combining my poetry with stitching and using vintage clothing as my canvas. This is a line from a poem that was published by Brenda Magazine a few years ago. At this point I am not sure where it will take me, but I am doing it with the intention of sending healing out into the ether}

From a practical point, if this is you, there is help available and if you are able to read this, then it is a window ajar to somewhere else. These charities are all UK-based.

1) National Domestic Violence helpline:

A freephone 24hour helpline providing advice and support to women with the ability to refer them for emergency accommodation.

Run in partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid. Translation facilities are available for a variety of languages.

Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24hours)

Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk (response within 3 working days phone for urgent enquiries)

Website: www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

2) Men’s Advice Line:

Men experience domestic abuse too, and it is a growing problem. The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline specifically for men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner.

This includes men of all sexual orientation, heterosexual or same-sex relationships.

The Men’s Advice Line provides emotional support and advice, plus further details and support with additional services including legal, housing, mental health and other related issues.

Telephone: 0808 801 0327 (Mon-Fri 10am-1pm and 2pm to 5pm)

Email: info@mensadviceline.org.ukWebsite: www.mensadviceline.org.uk

3) Refuge:

A national helpline offering advice and support for women who are victims of domestic violence. Safe and emergency accommodation via a network of refuges is available. There is also information for men who are either being abused, or are abusers themselves, on the website.

Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24hours)

Email: info@refuge.org.uk

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

4) Victim Support:

Walking away is not an easy option for many victims of domestic abuse or violence, and instead they struggle to live their lives in the face of persistent danger. As well as suffering direct hurt and abuse, there are other effects on victims:

Some will stop working or are not allowed to go out to work by their abuser, or are prevented from seeing friends, family or the wider community.

The children of victims frequently miss school and experience violence themselves or witness it at home.

Well-supported victims are usually more willing to seek help earlier, making it easier to stop the violence escalating.

How Victim Support helps:

We provide a robust, professional and consistent support service to all victims of domestic violence, including specialist support for young victims, male victims and those suffering domestic abuse within same-sex relationships. We work with specialist domestic violence organisations and the police, and we also employ the largest number of Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs) across England and Wales.

Our staff work alongside domestic violence-trained volunteers and caseworkers, many of whom have first-hand experience of being a victim of crime, to support victims of domestic violence.

Contact: If you’ve been affected by domestic violence and would like information or support, request support using our online form or call our free Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can contact us using Relay UK on 18001 08 08 16 89 111.Website: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/…/domestic-violence…/

Be cautious. Cover your tracks online.

If you do not know how, Victim Support (Number 4 on the list above) has advice on how to do so.



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