In conflict zones throughout the world, rape is seen as a weapon of war. Girls as young as eight are violated by gangs of soldiers who see it as a way of punishing, humiliating and asserting their power. In the Congo in the last twelve years, as many as 200,000 women and girls have been gang raped. To date, just 27 soldiers have been brought to justice.
This poem is dedicated to the victims.
I hide in shadows,
No-one sees me in the darkest corners.
If I never meet your eyes
You will not see my shame.
I stay silent.
Head down, body folded, tiny in the shadows.
I can still hide my shame.
They came in packs,
Snarling, snapping, slavering at an easy prey.
Circled with excited yips
And tore me to shreds.
Clawed and pawed,
Howled with triumph at the moon,
Left me lying in a rutted field,
Oh Lord, why have you forsaken me?
Lord, they have hurt me.
Do you not see me in the darkest corners?
Am I hidden from your eyes,
Lost in my shame?
Childhood seeps from me
Tinged with maiden’s blood and school girl dreams.
Emptied of myself,
My rounding belly fills with shame.
Violated yet again
On the shudder of a new born’s cry.
He grows in the wreckage of my life
And suckles on my shame.