By Jayne Dough
[Trigger Alert: This poem contains graphic descriptions of physical violence]
I took a beating for you
drawing the assailants away
away from our home, away from my sister, away from you.
I stood, letting the blows land hard against me.
The object was not my safety.
My face got the worst of it,
til it had the same half-moon quality my mother’s had, after brain surgery, chemo and steroids.
I still bear the scar.
A raised bump that sits over top of my third eye…
I don’t care that you fucked some baby mama’s baby daddy, angering the neighbourhood.
I don’t care that you didn’t fight for me,
or that your fingers shook too hard to dial 9-1-1.
I don’t care that you cried,
or that you watched,
that you followed as they beat me.
I don’t care that it was me instead of you.
I only want to know why – WHY – you let them in the house.
Jayne Dough is a pseudonym adopted to honor the Toronto woman, Jane Doe, who bravely sued the police for mishandling her rape case. Although we don’t know her name, Jane Doe helped a generation of women in the city of Toronto. Jayne Dough writes as one of the many unnamed women who have endured and supported a cycle of abuse. Now coming from a place of security and peace, she wants to be outspoken about her experience. Much gratitude to The Ride or Die Project for creating a platform that embraces the intricate complexity of these issues. Much love.