I’m sorry I’m sluggish and stupid and slow,
I’m sorry for being me.
I’m sorry I’m dullwitted, dim and dumb;
I’m as sorry as can be.
I’m sorry I’m stuttery, spotty and scarred;
please accept my apology.
I’m sorry as soon as I open my mouth,
I have to apologise.
I’m sorry the sides of your mouth turn down,
each time I look in your eyes.
I’m sorry whenever I speak the truth,
that all you can hear are lies.
I’m sorry for hurting your fist with my face.
I’m sorry your skin has been marred.
I’m sorry for making a dent in the wall,
by falling against it so hard.
I’m sorry I’m struggling to get off the floor,
because my back is so jarred.
I’m sorry as soon as you drive away,
I’ll be limping out of the door.
I’m sorry I met you, I’m sorry for me,
and I want you to know the score;
It’s the last time you’ll hear me apologise.
You’ll find that I’m sorry no more.
© Jane Paterson Basil
One woman in four (and one man in six) in the UK will be a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime, according to research estimates. Two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.
Domestic violence is officially classified as “any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality”.
We think of domestic violence as hitting, slapping and beating, but it can also include emotional abuse as well as forced marriage and so-called “honour crimes”.
It’s abuse if your partner or a family member:
- threatens you
- shoves or pushes you
- puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
- makes you fear for your physical safety
- controls you, for example by stopping your seeing your friends and family
- is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
- frightens you
Where can you get help?
You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. If you live in the UK you can:
- talk to your doctor, health visitor or midwife
- call 0808 2000 247, the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge (calls from a landline are free)
- in an emergency, call 999