McCann Refuge IWD haiku.png

Reversible poems from Refuge highlight insidious nature of domestic abuse

McCann calls for an end to violence against women and girls for domestic abuse charity

By Creative Salon

As people mark International Women’s Day across the globe – for many women experiencing physical, psychological, and economic abuse, there’s little to celebrate.

This is the direct message from domestic abuse charity Refuge and McCann who have launched a collection of powerful poems revealing tales of domestic abuse.

The collection of reversible poems tell opposing stories depending on which way they are read. From top to bottom they’re tales of loving relationships – but read from bottom to top and they reflect a very different reality; of coercion, control, abuse and violence.

In England and Wales, 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime, and its harmful impact on survivors can extend to many areas of their lives, including mental health, physical wellbeing and family safety. 95% of survivors are subjected to economic abuse too and, shockingly, two women die at the hands of their partner or ex-partner every week.

The poems ‘Purse Strings’ and ‘Lovestruck’ tackle individual stories based on women’s experiences of economic and domestic abuse, there is also a shorter poem in Haiku style – all of which aim to raise awareness of abuse and a reminder that no one should suffer in silence, and Refuge is here to help.

Refuge CEO, Ruth Davison commented: “These poems are a brilliantly creative way of highlighting the very real dangers women and their children face every day at the hands of their abusive partners. But while these poems are creative and engaging, they also contain a very powerful and important message: domestic abuse is a serious crime and must be treated as such.

We also need to break down the very real structures of misogyny and patriarchy which are root causes of so much violence against women and girls. Refuge is grateful to McCann for their support in helping us to raise awareness of domestic abuse this International Women’s Day, as well as raise funds for our life saving and life changing work. Thank you, McCann”.

Jon Elsom, Group Executive Creative Director at McCann Central said: “Domestic abuse is an insidious scourge that is often hard to spot in a relationship until it’s too late. These powerful poems reveal the hidden menace and offer women someone to turn to.”

Refuge is calling on people to help make every day International Women’s Day by donating to support their campaigns at


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