Locked down? Speaking from the shadows and silence for survival

Rima Hussein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


I write to speak of silencing and the suffering of survivors of domestic abuse in the family courts of England and Wales and the struggle to find a voice to articulate the hardship faced in this lockdown through court. It has taken the whole period of lockdown to find the words, the courage to keep writing, even as tears stream down my face, even as I sit in a virtual court hearing, even as my voice breaks as I fight to be heard. This text is a glimpse into a world that is hidden in plain view, where I will share fragments of my lived experience. I am scared to write but know I speak or am lost in the silent void that I have known for too long. Domestic abuse and the taboo around it screams at me to remain unseen, hidden, and invisible. I keep returning to find the words, as the very real cost of not naming the violence and reaching out to speak through it is too high. The fragmented account that follows is a raw telling of living life through the court system; it is written to share a voice that was unheard in the family law court and has been minimized, side-lined, ordered, and silenced through 3 years of the court journey and the embodied effects this has had. It moves between space and time to show a journey endured. Can you hear me? Will you bear witness?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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