I am sorry not before

When she wanted to express her fear,
they turned a deaf ear.
She couldn’t find strength to narrate her agony;
She had seen her sisters being shamed in the language of misogyny.

Was it her clothes or behaviour because of which her misery was triggered;
Was she to be blamed, she wondered.
When she raised her voice against the perpetrator,
She was silenced in the name of reputation and honour.

When she screamed for justice and fairness,
She was shunned for her character and boldness.
Some declared her to be a liar and an attention-grabbing whore;
Some didn’t care enough and focused on their more important chore.

Caught in the web of power and influence,
She was left fighting a lonely battle of pain and turbulence.
They asked her to let go, they asked her to move on,
But, the scars within her threatened to stay on.

‘She’ is you, ‘she’ is me, she is all around us.
‘They’ is you, ‘they’ is me, they are all around us.
We don’t listen, we don’t believe, we don’t take a stand.
And then years later we ask her why she didn’t report beforehand.

Let’s break the vicious cycle, let’s get to its core.
It’s time to change the narrative from ‘Why now’ to ‘I am sorry not before’.

Author’s Note: Sometimes we choose our words. Sometimes words choose us. The latter happened to me while penning this poem. This has come from a place of angst, frustration, and pain deep within. Let’s stop asking why someone didn’t report abuse when it happened.

“Why not then?”, “Why now?” – these are not just immaterial questions, but are also insensitive and unfair. Speaking up was never easy. It is still not easy and the least we can do is try to make it easy for every victim to be able to speak up henceforth.

//This poem was published on Momspresso and is available at the following link

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