From the archives: A weekend in Tubuseriea in the early 1960s
PNG is Pasifika by necessity: A response to Martyn Namorong

Tired of it All

Domestic violence
This painting by our good friend Mary was given to us as a house-warming present. If you look closely you can see it is about the plight of PNG women: how they’ve been treated, how their voices are stifled and their bodies abused. It is a powerful work – Peter Kranz

CLAUDIA SIYON TALLY | Crocodile Prize |
An entry in the Abt Associates Award for Women’s Literature

Oh dear, I began,
I am afraid of living
And I am terrified of dying
Don't want to look over my shoulder
I want to laugh and be happy;
But no matter how bright the sun is
My days are always dull.

I fear for my life
Every time I go out of my home
I once knew these streets so well
Now I am scared of what awaits me
Will it be a car to take me away?
Never to be found again?
Oh, it tears me apart

I don't know if I’m safe at all,
Even in my room I’m afraid
That I will be mugged or raped,
I cannot trust my own kinsman
Even those sworn to protect me
You may call me paranoid
But what choice do I have?

Do you know what it is like?
To cry out loud yet be so silent?
People hear the gunshot
Not the cries before
They see the car drive off
Not the girl walking
I am invisible

We are civilised
So why are women beaten?
Why are women raped?
Why are my sisters kidnapped?
Why are our mothers mugged?
Questions I often ask
Answers I do not have

So, help me, I beg
That my voice be heard
That my life be spared
That I be able to trust
That I am once more safe
So I can take my rest
Because, I am tired of it all


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Dominica Are

Totally agree Phil. Fear ( and worrying) is very stressful. These men who engender this fear are causing unnecessary stress.

How can I not worry and be fearful when all these inhumane acts are happening to my fellow sisters right at my doorstep? It could be me tomorrow.

I sit in the office but couldn't concentrate. My thoughts wander off to my daughter at home.

My thoughts wander off afar to my elder sister at work in Porgera, my niece at school in Kokopo, my younger sister at school in Madang and my mum selling her wares at the market. I pray that they are fine.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I was looking for a word to describe this poem Dominica and I think poignant sums it up accurately.

The other word that jumps out here is fear.

Even if nothing happens to a person fear can have a severely debilitating effect, both mentally and physically.

The men who engender this fear are doing damage to many women who they probably never meet.

Wikipedia sums it up:

Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behaviour, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events.

Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to body or life.

The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis.

In humans and animals, fear is modulated by the process of cognition and learning.

Dominica Are

Every woman's fear. Every woman's plea. Every woman's prayer that all these bad things happening against women will come to an end. That we wont live in fear anymore.

Why do we have to be the victims all the time? And the perpetrators, do they have a mother, sister, daughter, wife, female relatives? Do they put themselves in our shoes? Truly sickening. I am tired of it all too.

Poignant piece Claudia.

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