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.