Her Conversation with the Social Workers

I’m sharing this piece, with the permission of its author. For me it underscores the importance of practitioners truly listening to the people they are working with. I wonder what thoughts and reflections it provokes in other readers, especially those working with vulnerable adults and children?

Her Conversation with the Social Workers

‘I’m sick’, she said

‘When did he do this to you?’ they said

‘Help me’, she said

‘Yes, we must protect you’, they said

‘It hurts’, she said

‘Where did he hit you?’ they said

‘Help me’, again she said

‘Poor you!’ they all said

‘I don’t know if I can go on’, she said

‘We’ll stop him’, they said

‘Please listen to me when I beg you not to listen to me’, she said

‘Yes, we’ll protect you from him’, they said. ‘Monday to Friday, nine to five’

‘Is it time?’ she asked like a child, ‘for me to go home yet?’

‘You’re safe now’, they said. ‘You have no home’

‘Yet can I see my children?’ she asked

‘You’re safe now’, they said. ‘He can’t hurt you’

‘But I’m loved’, she said

‘When did he do this to you?’ they said

— Gilbert-Saez

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