REACHING OUT

It was suggested in 2009 that we make a collection of our members' poetry, writing and pictures, and exhibit them. The exhibition, 'Voices', is an ongoing expression of the feelings of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, enabling them to speak out in public and be heard.

We have displayed the exhibition in The Forum, County Hall, at a Violence Against Women Conference at the John Innes Centre, at the Quaker Meeting House and at St. Thomas Church (all in Norwich), as well as the James Paget Hospital (Great Yarmouth). To date, the exhibition been seen by several hundred people across Norfolk.

The first panel of the display stand has information about us and records events. The second and third panels are for the voices of members.

Display Stand

W's Poem

When you are sad and lonely And don’t know what to do, It takes all your courage To help you see it through

Treat yourself to flowers Or write a heartfelt poem, Try paddling in the sea Just to keep on going.

Try thinking of good things And plan to lift the gloom, For what really matters Is peace within, and soon.

It helps to know your fight Is not just all in vain, Trust, believe in yourself With friends to ease such pain.

Surviving Together Can help to soothe your sorrow And prove beyond all doubt

There is a better tomorrow.

A's Poem

Quiet little thing with the haunted face eyes glassed over and a mind that raced nowhere to run nowhere to hide no-one to listen no-one to provide much needed comfort safety from fears needs were ignored for so many years protection required didn’t come our way is it our fault that we didn’t say?

Who are there when the plug gets pulled? Who takes the pain, the shame, the fear The relentless hours in their hands Their perverted needs know no bounds The lights go out and I return Hours have passed I then learn The torture is over until the next time The people make sure the next day is mine

Why do I have these things in my head? When I should be asleep in bed I do so wish I could scream Go away people, I don’t want to hear Leave me alone, I have my own fear I want to be I, I don’t want to be we No sharing my time, I want it for me I want to be normal, and do normal things Not to be strange, alone and weird Odd looks from others I can do without I don’t want to jump around, swear and shout Or have nasty thoughts impressed to me I hope you really now do see?

Mummy we don’t want your touch we want you to care Mummy we don’t want your touch don’t make us lie there Mummy we don’t want your touch why does it fill you with glee Mummy we don’t want your touch stay away from we

J's Poem

Picture Perfect

Hey, look, that’s me A sparkling shimmering flower Beautiful and delicate A pretty purple flower Floating Floating in the iridescent blue sea of life Turbulence stopped, Tranquillity stilly.

See the special silver circle Charged with the energy of love. Love for me, from others, from me. Belief in me, being me. Being the best that I can be.

Its specialness protects me from The harm trying to penetrate Just as you penetrated a very special me Shedding your sceptic seeds, While I was still growing, still just a bud, growing.

A spikey red line that’s you Not striking poppy red Not sleek sports car red But discoloured blood red Clotted on the scabs of my scars.

Now I have bloomed I bleed no more. Free from the dog weed that you are. You cannot slice me with a line of symmetry But I am perfect Perfect because I’m me.