Dirty Dishes and Sinking Ships


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Dirty dishes lay in the sink like little islands and scuttled ships. Sarah watched as they disappeared under a torrent of water; a monsoon that polluted the water a dark grey. She turned the tap off, and the water calmed. The ships were no more—sunken eyes stared back.

Everywhere she looked the cabin was no different. Dust collected in the corner of the holds—balls of woollen cargo and the pantry smelled like salted meats. A webbed foresail stood half-masted, a mainsail behind, a chaotic mess of lines and riggings that spiders climbed between.

“Blimey women,” her husband staggered to her feet. He shimmied forward, fat wobbling as he swayed aggressively in the waves. A sea of bottles that piled in surf lay empty at his feet, and he waded through, muscles tensed and face enraged.

Sarah’s  heart quickened, and her head was spinning with nausea and sickness, the kitchen table kept her upright, and she grasped at her head.

“I told ya to get cleanin’, or I’ll cast ya out.”

She wondered, not for the first time why she stayed. She hurried from him, turned to the sink where her reflection returned an aged grey.

She dipped a hand, and the Sarah rippled with wrinkles.

Wiping the marks made no difference, but she did regardless.

A dirty hand to her face—smudged away at little islands and scuttled ships.

“I knews it. Tis bad luck to bring a woman aboard.”

She turned the tap again, and her headache faded as she washed the dishes.

Watching as her hands pierced herself, and the reflection disappeared below, drowned beneath the dirty water.

Dirty is how I think women that allow themselves to be abused think of themselves, trapped in a cycle of love, hate and despair.

Here are some statistics from the healthy place:

Victims of abuse often do not reach out to the police as women report to the police only 20% of all rapes, 25% of all physical assaults and 50% of all stalkings perpetrated by intimate partners. This means that medical personnel, such as doctors at the emergency room, often have the first chance to identify the cycle of physical abuse. And even then, the numbers who go to the emergency room is low with only 14.7% of physical abuse victims saying that would go to the hospital for assistance.

  • Nearly 5.3 million incidents of domestic violence occur annually among US women aged 18 years and older, with 3.2 million occurring among men
  • Battered women average 6.9 physical assaults by the same partner in a year
  • Battered men average 4.4 assaults by the same partner in a year

Share your thoughts below.



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