When read backwards, it reveals a distressing account of domestic abuse on what’s meant to be the most romantic day of the year.
The poem, called 'My Husband My Lover', has been shared by domestic abuse charity Refuge, who released a series over Christmas.
They've shared the “hard-hitting” reversible poem in the run-up to February 14, to shine “a spotlight on controlling behaviour and domestic violence”.
Refuge said: “Read one way, the poem tells the story of a whirlwind romance, but when read in reverse it depicts the terrifying reality of living with a perpetrator of domestic violence.”
When read backwards, the poem details a relationship going sour, with the man becoming controlling and violent.
It reads: “He feasts his eyes on my phone, searching in case I am leaving racy messages for a lover. He likes to pin me to the bed when I least expect it.
“His weight above, he is punching my ‘cute little face’. What does he love about me?”
They quoted statistics revealing one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner.
Natasha Saunders, who suffered domestic abuse for eight years at the hands of her ex-husband, said: “I lived with the fear of violence every day for a decade, but the run up to Valentine’s always brought a new pressure and I dreaded the day.
“I was subjected to emotional abuse as nothing I did was good enough; he’d tell me there weren’t enough endearments on the Valentine’s Day card, the present wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smiling enough, and so on.
Domestic violence: The Facts
- One in four British women experience domestic violence at some point during their lifetime.
- Two women are killed by their partner or an ex in England and Wales every week.
- Another three women a week commit suicide as a way of escape from an abusive relationship.
- Domestic abuse is often overlooked during the Christmas period but it can be the most dangerous time for victims, as they're trapped at home with their violent partners.
- Refuge is currently supporting more than 6,850 survivors – helping them escape violence and rebuild their lives.
- If you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact Refuge here.
- In an emergency, always dial 999.
“The day always ended with an argument, followed by more physical, emotional and sexual abuse.”
She urged women suffering abuse to reach out, as did Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge.
Sandra said: “For many, Valentine’s Day is a time to enjoy being with a partner.
“However, thousands of women and children will be spending this Valentine’s Day, like every other day of the year, in fear and terror.
“Refuge is urging anyone who is experiencing abuse today, or any day of the year, to reach out and access support.
“Remember, you are not alone – Refuge is here to support you in confidence.”
You can contact Refuge on their 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247.
Over Christmas we shared some other heartbreaking poems which also have a chilling meaning when read backwards.
And recently it’s been claimed that taking The Pill can ‘numb a woman’s emotions’ – and it might be harming your relationships too.
We also shared one woman’s advice to stop cuddling your partner to save your sex life.
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