Have you ever been in a situation where your trust has been betrayed? Whether you experienced abuse, deceit, or infidelity, you may have found yourself struggling to create meaning in your life, trust others, and build new and loving relationships. Is it possible to recover from a betrayal? When the core of one’s capacity to love and trust has been betrayed? When the person, system or structure you trusted in the first place, becomes the very source of your pain and hurt? When trust has been broken and wounded?

This year, POWA is looking for personal essays, short stories and poems that reflect the realities of ‘wounded trust’. The idea of wounded trust speaks to the multiple violations of trust that often occur in intimate relationships, within families, close friends, colleagues, religious and traditional institutions. This wound can be interpreted in different ways and forms. This may include stories of intimate betrayal, such as abuse or being forced to walk on eggshells to appease a partner who is chronically resentful, angry, critical, or self-obsessed. Or how confidence and trust in political, government and social institutions such as the church, traditional and cultural gatekeepers, the police, health care sector and educational institutions has been lost as a result of ‘wounded trust’.

This anthology will not only serve as a tribute to Karabo Mokoena, Khensani Maseko and all the other women who were affected by intimate partner violence but also show the immense, almost draining trust women often have for their partners and their brokenness in the process. Which is the wound! The wound that becomes a huge weight on women, and may sometimes end up in death.

Compiled by the POWA Women’s Writing Editorial Board Members.

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