Stories written by survivors of domestic abuse – Here are a few stories from Anne Bunn.

The Safe Place

My Mum put me in that cupboard. It was because of my nightmares, she said. It went right back under our stairs, And it had carpet on the floor. One long low shelf on the right. I had books and a quilt Long life milk cartons and biscuits hidden right at the back And a bucket. It was warm, it smelled kind, and I could see light through the slats in the door. There was a bolt. On the inside. Mum would say “Cupboard now.Good girl”, and I’d go there until all was quiet and safe again. Mum didn’t like me to hug her on those next days, so I’d draw her kisses on old envelopes to make her smile again. One night the sounds were really scary. Next day I showed the police lady my cupboard. She was nice to me and my Mum. Then Daddy left, and the cupboard door was always ajar after that. But there was one in my mind by then And I have needed it at times. My warm, quiet, safe place Where no one can see me, no one can touch me, and I can rescue myself. You did your best for me, Mum. My kids just put things in cupboards.

Anne Bunn November 2020


The beginning of the story:
No harsh bells sound a warning
There is charm, romance
Maybe a meal out or two
And you are reeled in.

A child or two into this twosome
And you are learning to breathe in
And walk on eggshells
All your fault for being stupid, of course.
He hates having to shout, but it’s for your own good!
Learn the lesson!!!!

But you stay defiant, don’t you?
That why he has to respond and up his game
Somewhere where the bruises don’t show
And he is always sorry, of course.
Isn’t he just…

“Pity the kids take after you
Your fault, you stupid cow
Now they need to learn the lesson too.”
They are his responsibility to train, after all.

That’s when you leave…
Whenever, however, you can.
Don’t ever look back, live just for the kids until the cage in your mind opens
Life will smile on you again, guaranteed…
Just survive until then.

Anne Bunn 24/11/19