Sometimes the eyes are blue, sometimes brown, sometimes green. But almost always the eyes are reddened and damp with tears.
Sometimes they are male, sometimes female, sometimes old and sometimes a child. But they've always been hurt.
Sometimes it's bruises, sometimes it's cuts, sometimes a broken bone, sometimes something much worse.
Sometimes I talk to them, my crewmate hovering outside the door, police in the house talking on the radio.
Sometimes I'm the one standing in the doorway, teeth clenched and hands balled into fists as I listen to the tale being told.
The police collect statements, photograph injuries, protect evidence. They provide support and safety, they listen to the litany. I hear them on their radios, this is the third time they have been here, the fourth, the fifth.
Sometimes someone is led away in cuffs, sometimes the police have to hunt for them – but it's always someone my patient knows well.
'He didn't mean it', 'she was just angry', 'it was my fault'. The same excuses. The same 'I don't want him to get into any trouble', or a promise to make a complaint that is later withdrawn.
I don't see domestic violence that often, but when I do it sticks with me. I'm glad I don't see much of it.
The home should be a place of safety, not a place of fear.