In a House Down The Street
A poem by Nola Gregory, WA
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In a house down the street a young woman hides, frightened and terrified while she silently cries. She cowers away in a corner somewhere. Will he come tonight? Does anyone really care? Alone with her thoughts she is broken and torn, she does not deserve this it's like waking a storm. "What have i done that has made him hate me? I cannot remember why he rages and seethes. I called out for help tried to make them aware. I told them he's dangerous but they don't seem to care. So what do i do while i hide here in shame? Do i walk away or let things stay the same? I hear him – he's coming! Lord please help me now! Don't let him hurt me, but I hear his evil growl! Strong hurting hands around my neck, squeezing so tightly I can't catch my breath..." A lifeless young body lies on the floor all battered and bruised like so many before. But this time it's different he went way too far! If only they'd listened and jumped in the car.
Nola says about her poem:
"This poem is about domestic violence and the secrets that surround it, the lives of mothers and children that have been lost waiting for the help that never came. It is a very sad poem, but one that must be read to understand how truly heartbreaking domestic violence is.
"[This poem came to me] as I sat and listened to the news that yet another young lady's life was taken by domestic violence. She died all alone with neighbours not aware of what was going on inside that house."
Homework: Reflect on the poem
Use Nola's poem to answer these questions:
- What has happened to the young woman?
- Who do you think "them" is who the woman tried to make "aware"?
- Put yourself into the shoes of the woman. What would you have done in her situation?
- Put yourself into the shoes of her partner. What would you have done to get help?
- Find out some statistics about domestic violence. Which one is most concerning you?