News | Press Release

8 March 2023

Reversible poems to mark International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day across the globe, McCann, which is a creative agency, have produced and donated a collection of powerful poems to Refuge 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.

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.


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.

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO

Image of Refuge CEO Ruth Davison

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.