Relationships, Social Justice

When Violence Strikes

April 3, 2016

It is Saturday night. I had just been working on the balcony, re-potting and giving love to some much neglected plants. We are sitting down, having a drink and a car screeches past. We hear loud pitched screaming, like someone is getting stabbed. Both of us put our drinks down, and run outside instinctively. (Okay, so The Ginger Hunk hobbles and I run.) We see a parked car on the road that appears to have come to an awkward halt. The Ginger Hunk goes up to the window, and asks very calmly “is everything okay here guys, we just heard screaming and yelling”.

What we find in the car is a HEAVILY pregnant girl in the driver’s seat, frozen, petrified and very still, and a child no older than three in the back, crying.

Just having a fight with my missus. He explains. This is a family matter.

Sweating. Fuming. Angry. Boiling. It’s not a family matter when the whole street hears you screaming.

Missus explains that she wants to get out of the car. We open the door. She looks relieved that someone has seen it too.

Out she gets and the child. (Who was crying and looking petrified.)

I’m over the road talking to the missus, who is explaining that he is just angry today because they have been at a family thing and that he has to learn his lesson this time.I explain that the noises were so loud that we had to do something to see if everyone was okay. 

Suddenly, the angry man starts laying into the Ginger Hunk. The police are called.

The missus is over the road now too with them and what was a heated conversation is now a physical scuffle. I’m with the child over the other side of road, who is alone and crying, repeating that the police are taking his Daddy away. I say that it’s not okay for Daddy to be this angry at Mummy. He wants his toy out of the car but I can’t go over there.

The Ginger Hunk is on the ground now, restraining the angry man. Neighbours run out to help hold him down.

Police arrive. The angry man is whisked away, and we are taken to the police station to make statements. I’m not sure what happened to the girl.

What kind of life is ahead for the child that is about to be born?  What kind of life is ahead for her?

He would have spent a few hours in the cop shop. He is probably at home now.

Promising to do things differently. To change.

And of us intervening, although the moment was instinctive, I wonder if it was best.

Should we have approached the car?

Did we make it worse?

What if it wasn’t going to get physical?

What if that WAS the only time he lost his shit?

At any rate, even if it was, shouldn’t we all pull up people when their behaviour is unacceptable?

By doing nothing, we are agreeing with what is going on.

Speaking to our neighbours today, some said they heard the screaming. But did nothing.

Why do we all think someone else has got this?

Ashleigh XXX

If you are affected by Domestic Violence Call the Domestic Violence Line for assistance on 1800 656 463

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  • Thanks for doing what you did. Yes, sometimes when people have intervened things have ended badly. But imagine this girl and child really really needed help. They could have been killed while the neighbours sat and waited for someone else to act. This is why domestic violence is such a problem in Australia – by our silence, we send the message that it is ok and so the victims suffer for years. More people should stand up the way you guys did. xx

  • You and the Ginger Hunk were very brave. I think we would do the same thing though x

  • You guys did the right thing — it’s bloody scary though. I never know what I’ll do if I come across violence. The thing is, instinctively, I want to help but then I’m also aware of DV perps hurting others who intervene. Last year, at my old workplace, a staff member’s ex partner attempted to stab her in the morning as she arrived at work, a colleague tried to help her and he ran his car into the colleague. They were both ok in the end and not seriously injured but it’s still scary shit. We only found out about it all after police were at the scene.

    You and The Ginger Hunk were very brave. I hope I would do the same in such a situation. DV is not ok. Even if it was the first time and the only time, it’s still not ok.

  • You had no choice but to act. I hope the woman is well supported and can leave the situation. He sounds very volatile.

  • Wow.. that’s freaking scary and pretty brave. Lucky for the lady and her child.