Poems about The Power of Voice

When one experiences childhood sexual abuse they simultaneously have their voice taken away—they are threatened, they are groomed, they are forced into a world that is out of balance and they are forced to find ways to make sense of something that does not make sense, the finding of one’s true voice is nothing short of heroic—it is the culmination of the heroines journey. finding the words to say… my voice… my voice being heard… my voice being believed… controlling the narrative…

A Single Word

A single Word

Dub poetry
Spoken word
Beat poetry
Slam poetry

Transformative poetry

Poetry pure poetry
Open heart

dissolves the chains
that once were viewed as unbreakable
invites me to see
that it is me
that is unbreakable

poetry has the power
to overturn those imposed sentences
pain, torment, shame,
all the other shadows that linger
outside our form

to be heard
to be scene
we are the ones
uncovering shrouds

how do I have to be
in order
for you to be free

when words
become poems

doors open
pathways surface
create a choir
heard round the world

So here we are

Weaving quilts
made of words
So strong that they float

Through past
Lighting this very moment

Shining on…
Our future

Author Statement

This poem comes from reading the poems that are finding their way to this site. And, in reading the poems, I find connections with people I have never met, and in those connections lives strength, spirit, the awareness that together we are on a journey of authentic social transformation. What a gift we are all creating together.
With profound gratitude.
Arthur Lockhart
Toronto, Canada

A. Lockhart, Canada
April 11, 2023

Dirty Daddy

How can I ever forget the two shitty times we spent together?
I did what I was told to do. Why did you make me feel so dirty?

I was told to meet you and I did. Back at your apartment, you made me strip
You took my underwear and you told me to follow you to the bedroom
You told me you liked to be watched as you stripped…slowly
I was scared. All I could think about was my underwear. I only had 3 pairs.
Why did he take them? He is so big. They won’t fit.

Once naked, you wanted me to watch you put on my underwear
You stretched the leg openings, and they didn’t go all the way up
Ungh…Ungh…you made sounds, then to my surprise, you shit in my undies
The whole time, you watched me. I didn’t move. I don’t understand.
Am I doing what he wants?

You took off the undies, dropped the turd in the toilet, and made me put the underwear back on. We got dressed and you gave me a ride home (actually, a block away from home).

I run upstairs and changed and washed in the sink as best as I could.
Bath time was once a week…Sundays. I had to wait until all my siblings were bathed, then I got their same dirty bath water. But I was home, and I felt clean.

Mom found my soiled undies and thought I had an “accident”. She told me that next time, please put the undies in clean water in the toilet to soak. Swish around the undies and do your best to clean them. She did her best to scrub them, but for the next few years I had a permanent pair of slightly coloured undies with a dark secret.

The next time I was told to meet you, I was instantly scared. I had no idea what you were about to do. Back at your place, naked, you decided that you wanted to have some fun:
- Me on my back, raise my legs in the air, then suck my own cock
- You are holding my legs, leaning against my back…watching
- Time passes, then you introduce me to “dirty licking” (I had to lick your dirty smelly bum hole, while you licked mine…I think I was hairless and clean)
- While squatted over me, you told me to open my mouth as big as I could. I could only see your back. Your ass over my mouth. You took a shit
- I panicked. I remember a tear rolling down from my left eye. I was doing what I was told…my mouth was still open. I tried not to breath. It smelled. I coughed and turned my head and threw up.
- You were mad. You pushed my face in your shit and my vomit.
- You told me I was a good boy. For that reason, you shoved your cock in my mouth as a reward. All I taste and smell was shit…then cum. I swallowed because you told me too.

We dressed. You drove me home. I never saw you again.

After 40 years of silence, I am telling my story. I don’t ever want you, or someone like you, to ever touch me or hurt me. After 40 years, I still know your smell, taste, and touch. I don’t think you even remember me…but I can never forget you. FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author Statement

I am in my 13th month on this self discovery journey as a CSA survivor.

Seeing the documentary, Leaving Neverland, gave me the language, courage and voice to no longer keep secrets and to tell my story. I was sexually assaulted in my teens by 50-60 men. They made me call them Daddy, which hides their true identity. Dirty Daddy was one of many men, who haunted me for over 40 years. I seek closure and peace within myself.

I deal with anxiety, depression and dissociation. I attend weekly psychotherapy sessions.

R.D., Canada
April 11, 2023

Dismantling Shame

Stigma will no longer sew my lips shut, it cannot.

Stigma will no longer shame me into a shell, it cannot.

Stigma is the toxin that runs through society, but no longer through me. It cannot.

Stigma is the faceless fear that tried to force me into inaction. But now, it cannot.

Stigma helped my perpetrator get away with his crime, but now, it cannot.

Stigma helped complicit institutions cover up abuse, but now, it cannot.

Stigma is being disrupted and dismantled, and it will no longer prevent the truth.

Stigma is being unmasked and uncovered, and it will no longer trap any youth.

Stigma is a relic of the past, showing the greatest contrast.

For now, the darkness cannot live here, only truth and light.

Rosalia Rivera, Canada
July 8, 2022


Shame wreathes my morning, like the thickest mist.
I trickle through the day, craving the night.
I scour those nights. Does peace hide, in some scream?
But where to find it?

I can’t even find my car keys!
Brothers, sisters, I need you. Whisper in my ear.
Reflect my shaming in your tear-filled eye.
Your wounded healing takes away my fear.
Truth clears the mist, and I can see the sky.
Better: I see the circle, claim my place.
I breathe with you. Your courage is my grace.

Author Statement

The group I attend is for men, but I added ‘sisters’ because I know abuse affects all
genders, including trans-gender and non-binary. I found I was breaking rhythms all over the place – no matter. Recovery is not neat.

Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
July 8, 2022


I grazed my rage today. It flushed my skin.
A lava-storm erupted deep within
But stayed inside, for grown-up girls and boys
Are not supposed to make an angry noise.
Bugger that! I AM, I rightly AM.
Rage that is heard, transforms - to mighty trees,
Orchards that blaze a thousand energies,
That fruit a thousand futures, as is just.
The alchemy of anger into trust.
Trust! That’s the big one. That means me and you.
That what you say, and what I feel are true.

Author Statement

Learning that I have a right to my feelings was a major step in my recovery.Feelings of
rage, grief, fear, bewilderment, shame.

Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
July 8, 2022


'Just tickling', but his grasp betrays the lie.
Outside, the playground squeals its playground fears.
He splays the me-child, flesh against his thigh,
Manoeuvres that shame shudder down my years.
The nature study jam-jars wink: I spy!
Bewilderment throat-retches into tears.
'Thank you'. He thanks me! Knowing no-one knows
Nor must, I tiptoe-flee, pretend to play,
Then work, smile, work, and up the goody goes -
Top of the class to teatime shine the day.
The teacher tends his purpose; nothing shows;
Un-crease the child, use, re-use, toss away.
My smile survives, until in middle age
I'll shift the slab, and liberate the Rage.

Author Statement

At playtime, my Primary School Teacher used to ask me to stay behind in the classroom to refresh the water in the nature-study jam-jars, or to change the posters on the classroom
walls. These were pretexts to enable his abuse. This was the first poem I wrote about my
abuse. I was afraid, mostly that the emotion might be overwhelming, so without setting out
to do so I found myself writing in the tight form of a sonnet. it just came out like that. I
learned about sonnets at Secondary School. I spy! was a children’s game.

Patrick Sandford, United Kingdom
July 8, 2022


He took a piece of me.
He took the peace of me,
my Godfather.
And, my God, Father, I need it back.
Peace - Oh, I remember you.
You endless summer of Lego adventures.
Daytime TV with Gran and her dentures
in a glass, and we’d laugh.
Peace - You made my sides sore and my face hot
from laughing. God, I used to laugh, so loud, a lot.
Peace - You warm bath.
You tranquil home planet, so tiny yet vast.
You safe cosy world all of my choosing,
and Mum’s cooking and Dad’s snoozing,
when all was okay,
and we all believed it would stay that way.
Until the day he took away that piece of me.
The peace of me.
I miss you.
I miss me.

Author Statement

This is not at all the poem I just sat down to write. I’d planned to express a fierce battle cry, but instead these gentle words fell out of me like some kind of creative sneeze. I was surprised and slightly frustrated, but I went with it. It has left me quite still. I thought I was doing pretty good in my recovery but clearly, this poem exercise has illuminated an unrest within me, that I guess I need to stop and listen to. Healing is a
journey, not a destination. I’ll just keep going.

Matthew McVarish, Scotland
July 8, 2022

Realizing Me

She took the same book out of her church library about 30 times between the ages of 8 to ten. Oh,  how I wish I could have held her close and told her again and again
You can tell me

The book she read told her to tell if someone touched her inappropriately. Surround by so many adults couldn't they see the book was a plea
For help

Oh how I wish I could have held her hand in love, I wish she could have told me
In her teens, struggling with body image, hatred for the parts he touched;  they labeled her unpleasant and miserable a person you should never expect much 

How I would have loved to offer her some encouragement, a smile
Maybe then she would have told me

In her 20s and 30s constantly hounded by memories those she finally told shamed and dismissed her, "you're hurting his legacy!" How I wished I was stronger to become a defender of self... you see,

She is me

Now in my 40s a mother, fearless protector no longer owning the shame. I am victorious I am a THRIVER I now know my name

How I now love me and trust me as I come into my own

I'm Beautiful, loved, kind and courageous  

I am me

I am Annie

I am free

Author Statement

I’m so glad that my aunt Carol, who is involved with your agency, encouraged me to write my poem. I’ve written many over the years but this has been the most liberating as I can see my growth as I thrive past my experience. My words were easy to find because I’m no longer bound and my present truth is so much brighter than the lies sprouted in the darkness of my past.

Annie, Canada
July 8, 2022

Marry the Words

If I could tell you
marry the words
match the soul void
If only…

Why do you pull away
Shrink from my touch

If you could just see
Read my lips
see my soul cry
for love…

Where did you go, my love,
Once more ‘gain?
Shrink a-way from

If I could just say
the right words
It’s not me and
neither you

each alone
wondering why
both searching for something better.
That’s the strength
of our

James Buffin, Canada
June 24, 2022

The Gatehouse