A Voice for the Silent: Selections from Challenge into Change #1

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Challenge into Change is The Women’s Initiative’s annual writing contest honoring women’s stories of overcoming life challenges to find hope and healing.

In the lead-up to this year’s December 15 deadline for submissions, we’re revisiting the stories of resilience, hope and growth writers shared with us in 2016-17, starting with this powerful, lyrical poem about overcoming domestic violence by Donna Lloyd.

You Are

By Donna Lloyd

Domestic violence rocks a person's world.
It turns everything upside down.
It is a hurricane,
that blows the fiercest of winds.
It is a tsunami, that slams you like a freight train.
It's an atomic bomb,
destroying everything you hold dear. 

You wake up one day –
Your friends are gone.
Your family is gone.
But worst of all,
You are gone. 

You were born with a light
burning bright - deep inside you.
It has always been there.
When the dark days come,
go and find this light.
Take hold of its hand. 
You will do things you have
long since forgotten you could do.
You have the power.
You are worthy. 
You are strong.

How our judges and readers responded…

  • “What a moving, empowering poem.”
  • “I really like how your use of repetition evolves from images of destruction and pessimism to images of hope and optimism.”

About the author...

Donna is a survivor of childhood trauma and domestic abuse. Continuing on her healing path, she seeks to become a voice for the silent by raising awareness of these issues through her writing and art.