Ahead of White Ribbon Day 2023, we held ‘Writing into Recovery’ poetry workshops as part of our Wellbeing Service with women. The classes focused on writing poetry as a path towards ownership, discovery and transformation led by poet Penny Hughes, using this year’s White Ribbon Day theme, #ChangeTheStory. The poems featured in a trail around Stapleford to mark White Ribbon Day.

This poem was written by participant, Sarah.


Bright as berries, bold, bruised
Crushed and wounded
Bloody handy wipes
Scrape across the floor
Crawling for freedom
Before the door finally slams
Shut, blocking all light
Sealing the prison which
Holds me hostage
In the depths of despair
No escape, totally crushed.

The apologies, oh so sincere
Pathetic promises that
Can never be kept, false
Screamed in my face.
Truth is not known to you,
It’s just a fallacy you created,
Just leaving me crushed.

Alone, I weep, tears burning and
Scars screaming, you’re crushed.
Crushed, just how did I get this low,
The promise made. The one I keep
Just for me.
You’ll crush me no more, the oath
I make, just a whisper in the air,
Heard by no one, crushed no more.

Every fragment, you tore from me
Replaced so gradually, delicately
Placed stitch by stitch, a new patchwork
Strong and brave, courageous and bold
Shards of fear and shame, discarded and frayed,
no place anymore.
Your threats all crushed. Torments crushed.
Jeers and sneers crushed.
Just wondering how it feels now
You are totally crushed.