a man, a woman, and a stick
the stick stood in the corner of the kitchen
a constant threat; stoking, as it was meant to,
he had a man’s right to deliver his blows
to vent his anger and his self-contempt
to cause suffering for the insufferable
someone had to make it up to him,
his loss-of-face to race, creed and poverty
for her part, eve’s daughter was ripe,
shamed by her intrinsic sinfulness,
worn by her constant pregnancies
her femininity: tired and task-bound,
guilt flowing freely, as all-consuming as lava
[relief, only in death]
and the seventh child was born to die
and the man was demanding his bread
she wrapped the girl in swaddling cloth,
placed her gently by the stove, and
while the newborn made busy with dying,
the woman prepared him his meal
© 2015, Jamie Dedes
While we are being directed to quarantine ourselves in the sensible effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is easy to forget that home is not a safe place for everyone. Domestic abuse happens and the stress of these times is likely to exacerbate that impulse. Here are some resources if you are in this situation or know someone in this situation. A link is included for a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency,. These are courtesy of Maggie Royer, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Persephone’s Daughters Magazine. [Recommended]
Courtesy of Maggie:
1. We are spreading awareness on our social media pages of the unique impacts of COVID-19 on domestic and sexual violence survivors using the hashtag #MakeHomesHavens. Please feel free to use this hashtag and share information as well from our Twitter: https://twitter.com/persephonesmag
2. We are building a By Survivors, For Survivors COVID-19 Self-Care List. During this time, media coverage of the virus is overwhelming and may trigger panic and anxiety among survivors already experiencing trauma. How can we take care of ourselves during this time? If you identify as a survivor and would like to share your self-care ideas here anonymously, please do! We will compile and share via social media, website, and newsletter.
3. Our March newsletter will focus specifically on providing calm and peace from anxiety. We know this is a time of uncertainty, and our newsletter will reflect ways to cope with that.
4. We are sharing links to coverage that focuses on how the virus is impacting survivors. Please read and share.
Home Is Not a Safe Place for Everyone (Huffington Post)
Staying Safe During COVID-19 (National Domestic Violence Hotline)
5. We are offering information for how to support your domestic and sexual violence programs during this. For a directory of every country’s domestic and sexual violence agency, please visit Hot Peach Pages. Programs may need the following support: financial donations, in-kind donations of sanitary products, toilet paper, disinfectant, and cleaning supplies, and as always, your calls to legislators to support their work.
- #MeToo: rallying against sexual assault and harassment, a women’s poetry anthology” edited by Deborah Alma; “Persephone’s Daughters,” empowering readers and writes who’ve experience gendered abuse
PERSEPHONE’S DAUGHTERS is published online, in print and in film. This magazine’s content is based on a mission to empower women / femme individuals who have experienced various forms of gendered abuse (sexual, emotional, physical, racial, verbal, etc), or other forms of degradation (harassment, catcalling, threats, etc). Persephone’s Daughters welcomes all identities.
Online Sunday Stories feature personal accounts of those surviving abuse. There is also a film submission category that aligns with the mission. Accepted works are featured online on Film Fridays. Of note is a post-election mini-issue, a writing and art collection by people who are negatively effected by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election. Proceeds from the sales of that collection go to the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, which provides services, legal help, and advocacy to unaccompanied immigrant children fleeing trafficking, conflict, poverty and more.