Counting dead women by Colleen Keating

We are only as strong as our weakest link. When there is a crisis like a pandemic the weakest links in the chain of society break.  When there is a crisis the cracks show .

Under the cover of Covid-19 counting dead women is not being given media attention, unless it includes children or there is a  family with means to bring the story to the fore.

The 30th woman  killed by domestic violence  this year has just been named . She was 44 years old. This is late July  2020. I found my published poem written in 2014 . That is 6 years ago . What has changed?

How can this be dealt with ? If it was any other statistic – measures would be taken.  Instead money has been withdrawn from safe houses and other womens projects. And covid is now called a ‘pink crisis’.

How long for justice. ? Presently at this time my research is about Herstory  and it is so important.  But we need herstory and history  to become linked making ourstory .  When equality is present violence will diminish.

Leonard Cohen shows us hope when he sing: there’s a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.

It is surely time to act. We are being given another chance, we are being reminded  to look at and  see inequity face on. Society can only be given so many chances.


counting dead women

i rose towards dawn
to sit by the big picture window

the sky black as raven wings
lay still and silent
like a dark night of the soul

i was desperately seeking
some colour   some hope
upon the dark edge of the world
where sea and sky meet

yet my mind kept scribbling
names of women      dead women
words of violence not erased

as the darkness of the morning news
counting dead women
crowds my mind
makes raw my heart
even as the breath of dawn
spreads its radiance

Colleen Keating 2014