Darrian Amaker spent four days in hospital with her eyes swollen shut after surviving an alleged brutal ten-hour beating by her boyfriend.
From her hospital bed, she recorded a haunting song about a woman who leaves her abuser, explaining “it felt important and a small triumph to make something, salvage anything, from my shipwrecked heart”.
This week, she posted the video to the US National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Facebook page, prompting many people to share their own stories of survival.
“A few days after thanksgiving this past year, my Love went straight psychotic and beat me brutally for ten hours. He had planned it out; I was supposed to die. I survived or escaped, whatever you want to call it, and spent four days in the hospital, eyes swollen shut, wondering why, wondering why.
I am physically safe now; my Love-no-longer has been formally charged by a grand jury with six felonies and faces many years as a prisoner.
I asked my doctor why I look different in the mirror, assuming it’s a psychological consequence of savagery. Softly she remarked that all of my bones are bruised, quarter-inch ridges that I can feel – my face is different, it’s one-half inch wider now.
I have spent my life thus far collecting human stories: I am a singer, a photographer, a writer. I make things. I give things away. For the first time I have brushed up against an inhuman story and am deeply shaken.
I don’t generally record videos of myself but it was the only thing I wanted to do in the hospital. I insisted – it felt important and a small triumph to make something, salvage anything from my shipwrecked heart.
Domestic violence is not a faraway issue. It affects people you know, cheerful people, people who sing, people who love. We the humans must be better, kinder, stronger. We the loving must not tolerate abuse. We the living must facilitate life.”
Watch the moving video here:
If you’re experiencing sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call the 1800 RESPECT 24-hour national helpline on 1800 737 732