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Torn Apart - a Poem About Domestic Abuse

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.

Domestic Violence - Some Australian Statistics

Statistics surrounding domestic violence and non-physical abuse bring to light how prevalent violence against women is. Key findings in an Australian study show how violence against women impacts the home, workplace and wider community. Below are some important statistics.

  • One in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them
  • One in five women over 18 have been stalked during their lifetime
  • Over twelve months, on average, one woman is killed every week by a current or former partner
  • Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children
  • In Australia, one in four children are exposed to domestic violence
  • Approximately two in every five assaults reported to the police are family or domestic violence related.
  • Women between 18 and 35 are more likely to experience violence than women overall
  • Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15 to 44.
  • Exposure to domestic violence is a recognised form of child abuse
  • Childhood exposure to intimate partner violence increases a child's risk of developing mental health, behavioural, and learning difficulties
  • Violence against women is estimated to cost the Australian economy $2.7 billion per year (reference: White Ribbon Australia)
Happy Family

Happy Family

Torn Apart

Happy family

Perfect couple

Friendly neighbours

Polite children

What you see

Is all for show

Behind closed doors

No joyful glow.


Financial stress

Anger brews

Heated words

Violent abuse

Words of warning,

"Do not tell!

If you do

You'll go to hell!



Cheating ways

Loss of income

Bills to pay.

Alcohol and drugs

No answer.

Makes the hatred

Spread like cancer.


"It's your fault,

You led me on.

Just accusations,

Where's your proof?"

Police investigate

Guilt is found.

Charges laid

Tears abound.

Case is closed

With broken hearts

Another family

Torn apart!

Off the Shelf

By now my regular readers will know the drum and how I select a book from my shelves and use the title to construct a poem (usually with the intention of getting some message across or getting up on my soapbox.)

This time the book I selected is Torn Apart a collaboration between James Patterson and Hal Friedman. It is actually billed as Patterson's first work of non-fiction, however as this is the true story of Hal Friedman's son, Cory, and that he has previously published five works of fiction himself, I will leave it up to the readers to determine how much influence James Patterson actually lends to the writing other than his name. In this case, it may have been a means of Hal Friedman getting his son's story read by as many people as possible, and I don't begrudge him that.

There is a lot of conjecture in regard to famous authors co-authoring books and whether they are just using their name as a marketing tool and hiring other authors to do most of the actual writing.

That said, this is a touching and emotive story and well worth the read.

* I must remind readers that the poem I have written is in no way representative of, or inspired by the book chosen, other than by the title.

Torn Apart by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

Torn Apart by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

Domestic Abuse Help Lines: Australia

  • 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)
  • Lifeline (13 11 14)
  • Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491)
  • Kid’s Help Line (1800 551 800)
  • Relationships Australia (1300 364 277)

Questions & Answers

Question: What figure of speech was used in your poem, "Torn Apart"?

Answer: There are a few figures of speech within this poem. Hyperbole, simile, understatement, metaphors, cliche to name a few.

Question: What inspired you to write about domestic abuse?

Answer: I have friends who have been through it. It is something I feel needs to be discussed and dealt with to try and educate people that it is wrong.

© 2018 John Hansen

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