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You can find further poems and feedback from our Members in our Newsletter

Poems have always played a huge part in healing or moving forward. These poems are read by survivors to provide inspiration or written by survivors as an emotional release.

Our newsletter includes poetry and we encourage our members to submit items for the newsletter or for us to include on our display board (internally or at public events).

The content written by a survivor moves with them along their journey – evolving and changing. It can sometimes feel when rereading items written some years ago as if it was by a different person, ‘Did I really write that?’.

Here are some examples:

Keep Well (Era 0f Covid-19)

With this virus going down

And there’s no-one around

When you’re all alone

Staying in your home

Remember we are all in it together

It won’t last forever 

A big thank you to the N.H.S. for all their help   

Thank you to everyone who helps

I want to shout

Stay at home and keep well

Even if it feels like hell

If you need help there is help out there

Young or old, other people do care

Sister’s my thoughts and love is with you all

But together now we need to stand tall.

CIS’ters’ Member Rosemary (1484)

How Do we Thank You?

To the workers in shops, who help keep us safe when filling our trollies

And to those restocking the shelves and others who drive lorries

To the teachers and school caterers who support the vulnerable

To the carers in homes and hospices, who look after our loved ones

To the many who deliver our post and our newspapers

And those that empty the bins and sweep the streets

To the police responding to calls and keeping us safe

To the ambulance drivers and armed forces

To the army of volunteers helping to support us

Not forgetting, ever, those working in Covid-19 hotspots.

To the politicians and local councillors who praise us all

And social media contributors keeping hope in our hearts

But not the ones who constantly chip away at failures

Like newsreaders. Plus tell me what the hell has happened to

Eamon Holmes – as they increase our despair not helping at all

And a massive thank you to my friends and neighbours

Who have helped me know that they are there

If I need them now or again in the future

There are no words that are a big enough

Thank you.

Together we are a large team

A community

A band of warriors

Thank you

To us all


Gillian, CIS’ters, 14th April 2020 (era of Covid-19)


If the Mountain Seems Too Big Today

If the mountain seems too big today

Then climb a hill instead


If the morning brings you sadness

It’s ok to stay in bed


If the day ahead weighs heavy

And your plans feel like a curse

There’s no shame in rearranging

Don’t make yourself feel worse


If a shower stings like needles

And a bath feels like you’ll drown

If you haven’t washed your hair for days

Don’t throw away your crown


A day is not a lifetime

A rest is not defeat

Don’t think of it as failure

Just a quiet, kind retreat


It’s ok to take a moment

From an anxious, fractured mind


The world will not stop turning

While you get realigned

The mountain will still be there

When you want to try again

You can climb it in your own time

Just love yourself til then


A massive thank you to Avril (43) who found this on the net

and sent in to help us all manage another day………


Integration happens at night

Memory and feelings unite

in the dark shadow of

drifting light, as day drifts into night.

No need to recall

the memory is clear

previous, elusive, feelings

clamour to be near.

Interrupting the calm of knowing

but not feeling

until my nerves become

stretched to breaking.

Terror, child like fear

irrational and uncontrolled

no recognition of the passing years

of then - is now - again.

Awake sweating, feeling the touch

of his hot clammy hands upon

my breasts, thighs, secret places

hot breath, smelling of whisky

whispering foul into my ear.

Tears, silently falling

like acid running down

my cheeks

eyes sore, red rimmed

silent witness

to my pain, endured.

Years, days, hours - then, now

is it a dream of the future

from a child

or of the past, as an adult

integration happens at night.

Invading my peace

allowing no sleep

only restless tossing

turning, weeping.

Integration happens at night

recognising now, the childs plight

of years.

Courage, reality, the price is high.

The cost is heavy.

(Gillian - Written 1994)

How Could You?

How could you

Rape me,

Abuse me,

Deny me my innocence ?

Smug look, knowing smile,

Taunting me,

As I grow from child to woman.

Secret safe, power game,

Waiting for the next generation

To play this game.

Not me, not mine.

I cannot capture

The power to confront you openly

But score points in any way I can.

Deny the children

None are borne.

Safe is the unborn,

No energy wasted in watching,

The safety of any child of mine.

(Gillian - Written 1996)

Friends Lost

Friends Lost

Faces turned away

The truth too difficult to hear

Perhaps own secrets locked

Not wanting to disturb

Eyes cast away, not meeting mine

Shuffling feet, moving body away

From mine, for fear of

Contamination, of being too close

Lest the stigma will stick.

Friends gained

Nodding heads

Hands reaching out to clasp

My shaking hands

Empathy, respect, Belief.

Courage to disclose

Courage to accept the truth

Me as i am now and then

Friends support and with that

Strength. I move on.

(Gillian - Written 1996)

Because it does.

It matters, because you stole what was

Only mine to give

To the right person

At the right time.

It matters, because

You hurt me, not just physically

But emotionally too.

It matters because what you did to me,

Affected how I saw myself

And how others saw me too.

It matters because of what I was denied

Then and now.

It matters – and don’t let anyone,

Least of all you

Think that it doesn’t.

It matters that today

Children are still unseen and unheard &

That Judges and the law of the land

Blame them for what others

Have done, to them.

It MATTERS – and it always will!

(Gillian - Written 2009)

It takes time

For us to speak

It takes time

For us to trust




It takes time

For you to understand

To appreciate

The fragility of a child

A child that is powerless

Despite what YOU say

What you think

Children are unable to stop abuse

Only you can do that

The adult survivor

The friend

The parent

The neice

The neighbor

The work colleague

The teacher

The doctor

The person

Who stands and sees

And before, turn away from the truth,

It takes you, and us, to stop the abuse

(Gillian - Written 2016)

Now – there are no longer 100s

Now – there are 1000s

Of survivors

Speaking out

Being heard

The tsunami of change

Is upon us

It is full of voices

New ones


Those that

Are decades old

Still saying

This is our truth

This is the truth of children,



Please help them

Please help us

Voices – echoing across the land

Though not always in harmony

And sometimes




Voices – echoing across the land

(Gillian - Written 2017)