“you were so afraid
of my voice
i decided to be
afraid of it too”

I must say that some of the little poems that Rupi Kaur writes are absolutely stunning and strong in their emotional punch. Here you have a girl that’s been abused by her father (I assume it’s him based on the other poetry surrounding this specific snippet) and she learns to keep quiet because he doesn’t want her to talk either. And that’s why abusers usually rely on the victim to keep the abuse going – the longer they don’t seek help or speak against it, the longer they can take advantage of the situation they are in.

Many victims are aware that their word is the only proof they have that abuse occurred.

“You ask yourself, ‘What if no one believes me? How do I prove abuse? What if I don’t have scars? What if the abuse isn’t physical, but verbal or psychological?’

According to Jennifer Marsh, the vice president of victim services at the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), victims of domestic or sexual assault often perceive several barriers to reporting violence or assisting with police investigations.

Perpetrators are incredibly adept at figuring out what barriers may be effective in preventing a victim from reporting or following up or assisting law enforcement during the investigation,” she told Broadly. “There are obviously perpetrators who say, ‘Nobody’s going to believe you. You’re a nobody. Look at me: I’m well respected, I have all these people who will say that I’m a terrific person. Who’s going to believe you?'”