I think I have a slightly unique perspective here... I was going to stay out of this thread but... what the heck... here I am.
When I was seventeen I was in an abusive relationship with.... well, let's call him a sadist. Humiliating and hurting me where clearly pleasurable to him.
I tried breaking up with him and he threatened to kill me. I felt trapped and too afraid and stupid to do anything about it. Yeah, it's easy to tell a woman or young girl to go to the police but when you're being abused and you fear everything about that individual (ESPECIALLY facing him in court) then you also feel like you have no options.
So when he promised me that if I met him in a public place "to talk" he would let me go and never contact me again, I jumped at the opportunity.
We met at a diner. Obviously, I could not carry at the time.
He was angry at me (as always) and would often raise his voice or grab me in a way that was clearly getting uncomfortably noticed by other patrons at the diner.
There was a family of four sitting to my right and after one particular incident the man looked at us sharply to which my "companion" shouted.. "You got a problem?!"
The man went back to eating and tried very hard to avoid looking at us though you could clearly see he and his wife were uncomfortable.
Finally I did or said something that really set this guy off. I can't remember what it was or even if there was an instigating factor, really. He just exploded. He stood up, grabbed me by the hair and started dragging me out of the diner.
I was so shocked and scared I couldn't even get out a single scream or even "help."
I watched the faces of the people he was dragging me past thinking, "Dear God, someone help me."
No one so much as lifted a finger.
He even stopped just outside of the door to slam me up against the wall a few times and assault me. Again, I waited for someone to do something and while I could see people watching no one did anything.. not even reach for a phone. He then dragged me to his vehicle where he restrained me and took me to a garage.
I'll spare you the details of what happened there.
So, you might think I'm going to sit here and say that I blame those people in that crowded diner for not helping me. On the contrary... I don't blame them one bit.
I did for a while but that was a scapegoat. They didn't choose my companion and they didn't have any responsibility toward me. I was the one dumb enough to get myself into that mess the brunt of the responsibility falls on my own shoulders and his for being the filthy pervert who would do that to a girl.
Would it have been nice if someone had come to my rescue? ABSOLUTELY!
But that's stuff of romance novels.
Some people say they couldn't go home and look at themselves in the mirror knowing they didn't help.
I think you're fooling yourself and underestimating your psyche's ability to protect itself. I doubt very seriously that anyone in the diner lost much sleep that night. That father probably tucked his kids in bed that night and maybe even laid in bed with his wife and complained about how we interrupted their dinner. Maybe someone who saw him slamming me against the wall outside of the diner thought that I'd stolen something from him or that I had it coming. Maybe they thought I was "a pro" and tried to stiff my "John." If he'd succeeded in killing me that night no one in the diner would have been the wiser. Even if my picture showed up on a missing billboard or television after they found my body there might only be a person or two who even recognized me. They'd stand in front of the cameras and give their statement and say something like, "Yeah, I saw this guy with her but they seemed to be together," or something similar.
It was pretty obvious that none of them wanted to get involved and I wouldn't either.
I understand the risks. I understand that the reason there are all of these assumptions is because they've been proven to be true again and again.. abused women who will turn on their saviors, hookers who'd rather be beaten to death than have the cops called, etc, etc, etc.
I put myself into a situation where I could be see as one of those even though I was nothing more than a frightened seventeen year/old desperately looking for a way out of a VERY bad situation that just escalated to worst case.
I don't think I deserved any better consideration than any other hooker or abused girl who people fear getting involved with.
So for those who just want to call the police I say, "YEAH!!!" You're doing more than what anyone in the diner did for me (to my knowledge).
To those who want to approach... good luck!
You are running a risk in doing so.. you know it. But, yeah, you could be saving someone like me who could be sending you Christmas cards every year for the rest of your life thanking you for saving me.
Me? I will call the police, for sure.
I can always pepper spray someone if I need to.
I'm not going to volunteer for any beat down but knowing what happened to myself once I was put in that van I think I'd have a lot of recurring nightmares if I let someone drag a woman away to a vehicle. I might not be able to stop him (for many reasons) but I can at least make DARNED sure to get plate numbers, vehicle description, direction the vehicle was going and make it abundantly clear to the officers that they need to find that vehicle NOW!!!
Lastly, I can forgive myself and acknowledge that while I can relate to a girl like that I have no responsibility towards her.
There are bad people in this world and they will do bad things and we cannot stop them all nor can we personally bear that burden when we do fail to stop them.
:( Thats sad Tunes :(
I figured I would stay out of this one as well. but the story reminds me of growing up. I grew up being raised by my father who would beat on my mother infront of me and my older sister, (I was 4 when he left and she was 7-8, Finally)
I had (ITs a lot better now) Real short fuse and bad temper like my dad and I have jumped in (No thought into it other then I didnt want to see someone get beat)
In school I threw a guy into a dumpster for his girlfriend to slap me.
I dont look like the friendliest person most of the time.
A little background of myself, I was raised by my grandfather who was a cowboy. (Name stuck with me..Cowboy)
And a few things I learned I always remember today and one thing was "When you see a girl always protect them"
Just the way I have always been.
For the scenario. If I had my firearm, I would (If my girlfriend was there) Give it to my girlfriend (She plans to get her ccw as well) Call the cops and try and get in the way. I know the risk's and for me personally I am fine with it.
When I got my motorcycle license everyone told me about the risk of dieing and being hit and not wearing a lid and yada yada, My reply has always been "I work at a school district, I can always get shot walking from my bike to the office trying to get to work"
I would have great difficulty reining-in my reactive 'impulse' to physically intervene on the battered person's behalf.
But after reading the postings in this thread i will now choose to call 9-1-1 if i have access to a phone (or yell for someone to call 9-1-1 if i have no phone).
I'm afraid, however, if it is a severe beating I could not stand by and allow it to continue. .... = serious dilemma for me.
OP said this was happening on the street.
If I'm the only other witness I'm staying here. If there are others I'll speak out to enlist others to help stop it or at least draw their attention to what is happening.
If others are with, or support the 'batterer' and I percieve them as threats to me i'm going to move to a more secure position if possible and continue observing.
This 'hypothetical' scenario is worth thinking about with a cool head now ...... before I get sucked into something very bad. ..... like this
Cumberlink.com: Carlisle man charged with chasing people with knife
Three of these situations... Two were mine, another was a buddy's.
Mine - we live in a nice neighborhood. We heard screaming outside. There was a van that clearly didn't belong. The boyfriend was dropping the girl off at her sister's house and her car was out front (home owner's association agreed we can only stop for an hour out front or only park in the driveway or by the driveway, which were in sub-streets or allies behind our houses and front had to be clear) which had no other cars around it. They're standing there and she's screaming at him about this other girl. She then grabs one of those crossed tire irons that looks like a plus sign. She hits him hard a couple times. At this point my wife called the police because it was bad. He grabs her finally, slams her hard into an old oak tree then hits her in the back with the tire iron. At this point I went outside and they're 3 houses down from me. I don't suggest this, but it was going too far. He then runs to his van throws the tire iron at her and it took a chunk out of the tree, then he revs his engine, floors it into her car twice then takes off. The police showed up a couple minutes later and I never really found out what happened.
My buddy - He was coming out of a convenience store and getting in his truck. He sees a woman getting her head forced into the passenger side door frame and the couple is outside the car. I don't know how far he is from them, but he's close. She was covered in blood. My buddy said something to the guy as did another guy that saw it and the boyfriend pulled a knife and walked quickly towards my buddy and the other guy. My buddy drew and the guy with the knife starting backing off then ran. It was her car. The police came and he ended up getting arrested for aggravated assault on family/significant other and assault with a deadly weapon with some other charge. He is currently in prison.
Mine - One night I hear my recently divorced, smoking hot neighbor arguing with her new, 10 year younger boyfriend. Both really cool people but she partied hard after the divorce. Again, this is an upscale neighborhood and she got the house. This is a common occurrence around 1 or 2am with them as well. Next thing I hear is a gunshot. After that, I see her awesome car smash into my wooden fence then take off. I went upstairs and looked out the window and couldn't see anything. So, I opened my back door and heard a clicking sound by the door to my fence. I yelled to see who it was as I was pretty sure it was one of them. It was the boyfriend in my driveway unloading the 44 magnum single action revolver she pulled on him. After hitting him and threatening to shoot him, he took the gun which had the hammer cocked. Completely trashed, she tells him in her best slurred voice that it's unloaded. As they're standing there he barely touches the trigger (not familiar with guns) and puts a round into the driveway right next to his foot. He freaked out that she almost shot him and ran to my house which was directly across the alley. I let him in and he slept it off in my guest room. She got back a few minutes later and I talked to her and my wife helped get her to her bed. She was trashed. The next day she came over crying and hung out for hours. She decided to quite partying and they ended up being ok for quite a while then eventually split up. It's insane but you just never know. Had this been anyone else and after a gunshot someone is standing next to my door, there may have been a offer issue.
If I'd see something like this today, I'd try to stay as far away as I could unless someone is about to die. It's not all that unlikely that if you get involved and she's still conscious, she might attack you for going after her 'man'. I can't watch some girl get beaten though, it's just not something I could do and be ok with it. Unfortunately, I know how I'll react and deal with these things, girl or not, from experience.