Domestic Incident by Clive Oseman

All the signs were there

if you only cared to look,

lift the veil to

reveal the trail of black and blue.

Why didn’t you?

Or did you see and shrug

not believing it were true?

Either way what did you do

when the ambulance came

with sirens blaring into the night

like a victim’s piercing screams?

Kid yourself, to hide your shame,

how you couldn’t possibly have known

what goes on behind closed doors

in someone else’s home,

how you never could have seen?

That’s the way of it, it seems.

But fear not,

they’re only bruises and broken bones.

No-one died. It doesn’t matter,

each day someone gets battered

it’s just a domestic

no-one else’s business but their own.

You’ll find it happens all the time,

you’re not “one of a kind”

in acting blind-

let that soothe your guilty mind.

It’s a scandal, a disgrace

how the hidden face of hatred

is allowed to go unchecked

from one scared, scarred victim to the next-

a victim who has no voice,

no real choice,

so there is no arrest

no charges pressed

and the cycle just continues-

on and on the problem festers

like a weeping wound

because those who make decisions

think it best.

Police will come and go,

the feeling of helplessness will grow

as nothing will be done.

It’s a huge taboo discussed by few,

and he is strong and will recover

but the child will suffer

if they arrest her mother.

So will you turn a deaf ear,

repeat the pattern of pretending

this shit never happens?

Or realise men can be victims too-

No doubt less often than the other way

but the problem has been hidden

it isn’t new.

Men are just too scared to say

for fear of being mocked or disbelieved.

Yet violence is violence

regardless of gender or creed.

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