VITRIOLAGE Airyn R. Lentija

Just as my scarred hands hold these rails so the tiny drops of my faith make me live, too.

I, who never asked for this blindness, The scarring of my face and body that erased my existence to the real world...

embarassed... in fear of the stigma and of prejudice that bubbles from the mouth of the community I once belonged to.

I am a mother turned into a baby, desperately dependent...

I am a teenager who forgets how it was to be a teenager...

I am a lively lady that used to enjoy the company of my peers...

A victim of vitriolage,

I am shunned now... and relive the vivid memories that lift me to another level of distress, of such agony, that my mind almost shut down, they called...

a psychologist for in-depth intervention, counselors...

A brilliant mind may give a hand to restore my damaged skin tissue; surgical treatment...

Yet I will never be free from the memory of such pain, such punishment nor will I be Me again...

VITRIOLAGE-CORYRIGHT Airyn R. LENTIJA 2010 Note: This poem was also also published under the title: Testimony of Acid Attack Woman Victim by WUNRN. This was also published in Human Rights and Culture-an e-publication of the Asian Human Rights Commission.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence.

Comment on this Post


Dear Airyn,

You are a wonderful poet and I enjoy reading your poems - which while difficult to read due to their grave topics - open my mind to viewing the world through the eyes of an abused woman, and I wish that more people can read your poems and know the stories of women who endure such atrocities.

Have you been writing poems all your life? And what inspires you to write poems that speak truth and plights of women worldwide? It seems that your poems have won awards and been published internationally. Have you published a book of your poems?

Keep writing, dreaming, feeling and sharing!

In friendship, Jade

Dear Jade,

Thank you again.You honoured me with your comment.No,i havent won any awards but yes my poems were published internationally.

I was first published on Asian Human Rights Commission's E-pub,Human Rights and Culture.My editor Mr.Stewart Sloan beleived in my talent and helped me publish my book,POEMS FROM THE HEART,a collection of poems ive written for more than two years of working as domestic helper in hongkong.It was this year that WUNRN recognized my poems and published them.

I spent most of my life away from my mother.She left us when i was six to work as domestic helper also.As far as i can remember,i started to write poems since elemntary days since i have no one to talk to about my personal problems.

Poetry became my best friend since then until now.And being a domestic helper,a woman that suffers a lot,sacrifices a lot,i felt that i have/need to do something to use my hardships and my talent and put it in poetry.The only thing that i know can help voive out the voice of the voiceless is through my poetry.

I didnt study poetry but i know how to write it :)

God bless you.

Airyn Lentija-Sloan