Offering the Chance

There were two police officers standing over the crying woman.  From 50 yards you could tell she was an alcoholic, blood matted her hair and she held her head in her hands.

We walked her onto the ambulance, it was warmer than the night air, and we had more comfy seats than the wall she was sitting on.

The policewoman joined us to get the woman’s initial statement – as the woman was drunk, another statement would have to be taken after she had sobered up.

The woman told us how she had been drinking all day in the park with her partner and his sister – then her partner’s sister had kicked and beaten her before stealing her handbag.

She continued to tell us how her partner had continually bullied her and how she lived in fear of him.  Her partner’s name was known to both the police and myself and it wasn’t known to us for him being a paragon of virtue.

The police officer was friendly and supportive – she called on the specialist team for domestic violence and started the process of getting her referred.

I took her to the hospital, while her wounds weren’t serious she would need some sort of social services input before she could be discharged – her home wouldn’t be a safe place to go.

“This time”, she told me, “this time, I’ll press charges and get out from him”.

When she sobered up she’d probably go back to him, but we have to offer her all the chances we could – just in case, this time, she were right.

Sometimes, life is like a bad soap.

8 thoughts on “Offering the Chance”

  1. So glad that you were at least able to leave her the opportunity, even if she doesn't take it. It can be so difficult to leave or to press charges, even when you know it's the right thing to do.

  2. It's sad when you see *regulars*. Here's hoping for her not changing her mind. No one is anyones personal punching bag.

  3. difficult enough without a fog of alcohol and alcohol dependency. But if the chances aren't offered then there's no hope at all.

  4. I think the best law was the one that made charging an abuser not up to the victim, here. Mandatory arrest. Not that such intractable problems get solved so easily, but it's got to have helped a fair number.

  5. bum bum bum bum bum de de di de dey, ok im no good at typing the eastender ending theme tune. sould like one of they story lines though

  6. AFAIK it's not up to the victim in the UK, it's the CPS that “presses charges”. However, if the victim chooses not to make a statement, then the police usually have no evidence on which to base a prosecution.Steve.

  7. As someone who has had close female friends suffer domestic abuse and one who has just escaped from an extremely abusive relationship and is now mentally traumatised by it (to exent of being scared of men even in public places, nightmares, panic attacks etc etc) I can only hope and pray that your patient gets the help she deserves and needs.I'm personally in favour of the mandatory arrest and charging without the victim needing to make a statement.

    I don't agree with violence in any form but do feel that blokes like that who physically, mentally and sometimes sexual abuse partners do deserve to get some of their own methods used on them, or maybe six months in a small cell with a nice big cell mate who wants a “special friend”.

  8. Up until I was seventeen I experienced physical, verbal, mental, and sexual abuse at the hands of two men.I don't think about it as often now, but for a very long time it was nearly all I *could* think about. And the conclusion I came to was this:

    If I could, I would have them castrated, to prevent them inflicting the worst damage on anyone else.

    If I had the chance to beat them up, to punch and kick and yell and so on with no risk whatsoever to myself… I wouldn't.

    If I could impose the death penalty… I wouldn't.

    But if I had the chance to make them fear – if I could fix it for them to spend a solid hour or more sweating and trembling in panic, for them to be unable to go to sleep at night, for them to visibly flinch every time a door bangs or a firework goes off, to give them panic attacks because someone in the street is wearing a certain colour jacket or if a particular song comes on the radio, for a decade afterwards… oh yes. I would do that in a heartbeat.

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