Poetry and Flash Fiction Submissions 2021 and #16DaysofActivism
November and December are always busy for us at Hillingdon Women’s Centre, and online things have been really ramping up with our call for writing submissions and our #16DaysOfActivism campaign.
“Violence Against Women and Girls: Enough is Enough!”
For a second year running, we have been BLOWN AWAY by the excellent women writers of Hillingdon who took part in our recent call for poetry and flash fiction submissions. This was launched on 25th November 2021, also known as “The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.” This year we asked women to submit a piece of poetry or flash fiction on the theme of “Violence Against Women and Girls: Enough is Enough!” and they certainly delivered!
For the past two years, we have reached out to women in our community to share their voices and recognise the global effort required to ensure that VAWG is not just seen as a women-only issue.
Our call for submissions was incredibly successful. We want to use this opportunity to share our immense gratitude to all those women who responded to our call and contributed their work. Thank you so much for getting involved and sharing your beautiful and impactful words! We will be sharing some of the pieces on our social media platforms over the next month so keep an eye out for some fantastic work.
You can check out some of the submissions in the slider below for a sneak peek at the pieces submitted. However, we also created a beautiful catalogue of all submissions for this year, this is now available to download as a PDF too!
The Inner Me
I can’t take this heartache, feels like I’ve gone deeply insane. Makes me broken and in more pain.
Longing for a better tomorrow not filled with such tragedy n sorrow.
Looking through windows of a painful past like my life had came to an end.
Enduring physical and mental abuse.
From someone I was meant to love n depend.
Not choking and suffocating I’m deep suppressed in silence. Living with internal fear and on eggshells through agonising domestic violence. Fighting so bad the tears I hold back as I yearned to cry.
Fighting to live another hellish day this is no lie. Confusing love which really him controlling and conditioning me. To respond the way I was manipulated and told. Waiting in fear 3 years as the dv darkened more and unfold.
poem continued in collection
deep in pocket
keys in hand
poem continued in collection
One moment of distraction.
She is resolutely dragging her body out of the Swamp.
Did I see a ghost?
I saw someone.
It’s late. The bus stop reeks of petroleum.
I did. A woman.
You’ve been drinking.
I’m telling you.
By the swamp.
Over the dam?
I know you think there’s no one but I’m telling you what I saw.
The cricket ball follows the old path. Out by the Swamp. The wind uncurls.
I heard her again.
Go back. Is it the summer buzz? May be.
No… cannot be.
I am losing my sanity.
I can feel her crawling out of the swamp.
She slithers onto the grass. Her hair tattered.
Naked. She looks at me.
poem continued in collection
I leave my house, fumble for keys, lock the door and make my way towards the park. The voice of my mother echoes through my head as I walk, a girl was abducted from a park near me this week.
I remember when she told me because that was the day I had explained to her my morning routine. I told her how I leave home early to sit at my bench in the park, the one with a perfect view of the lake. I told her how I sat there and watched the trees. How the wind shoved through the branches until they had nearly snapped right off, and how some unlucky few were overpowered by the wind, the weaker ones split and broke off from the rest and others were left hanging, lifeless and barely attached. She told me of a local girl, taken in broad daylight, while walking home, and explained that she would prefer for me to avoid the park. Mulling over my mother’s words, I reach the park entrance and continue through. I want to. I am not naive or ignorant. I just want to walk through a park. I sit in my usual spot and time passes slowly. I am so relaxed that I nearly forget to leave. One last step and I have successfully left the park without any problems, I then continue and make my way to school.
flash fiction continued in collection
Social Media Campaign: #16DaysofActivism
On the 25th of November, we also launched our response to UN Women’s online #16days campaign to ‘Orange The World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’ to amplify the call for global action.
In our response to this global campaign, we decided to bring the stories of inspirational women activists murdered in the name of gender-based violence to honour their memories, educate and engage with our digital audience.
Below are just some of the incredible women we pay tribute to who were murdered for their activism.
Follow us on Instagram to see all of our posts in this campaign.
Why is this all so important?
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is an annual online campaign kicked off by UN Women on the 25th of November every year.
UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign is amplifying the call for global action to bridge funding gaps, ensure essential services for survivors of violence during the COVID-19 crisis, focus on prevention, and collection of data that can improve life-saving services for women and girls.
The Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was a virtual multi-stakeholder event with the participation of high-level representatives of Member States, United Nations agencies, Goodwill Ambassadors, and civil society organizations.
UN Women do tremendous work globally to recognise that Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today. Each year, their online campaigns inspire us at Hillingdon Women’s Centre to get involved in our own creative way and contribute to the cause!
Did you know?
Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30 per cent of women aged 15 and older). This figure does not include sexual harassment.
Most violence against women is perpetrated by current or former husbands or intimate partners. More than 640 million women aged 15 and older have been subjected to intimate partner violence (26 per cent of women aged 15 and older)
Calls to helplines have increased five-fold in some countries as rates of reported intimate partner violence increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restricted movement, social isolation, and economic insecurity are increasing women’s vulnerability to violence in the home around the world.
One hundred thirty-seven women are killed by a member of their family every day globally.
Data source: UN Women: Facts and Figures