a letter To the woman I saw being hit

I often think of you, a memory, a feeling or something someone says and you pop up in my mind. Did I help that day, or did I make things worse? I often wonder what you would have done if you had witnessed it happening to someone else. Would you have done what I did, or just turned a blind eye? The Police officer on the phone said that sometimes even just knowing that someone saw and reported it will be enough to trigger something in you, to make you think that what was happening to you wasn’t right, I hope it did. 

Reaching out to a woman I saw being hit

Your face when he hit you and your reaction told me it wasn’t the first time he had done it, was it? I was waiting to come out of a lane of parked cars, sitting at the cross roads near the entry to St James retail park in Northampton. I don’t know what made me look into your truck, maybe he was driving a bit erratically but when I looked over I could see he was looking towards you in the passenger seat, clearly angry, it looked like he was shouting. I spotted the kids in the back, blonde and young. Then he swung at you and as he did he was turning the corner outside ToysRus, so busy and intent on hitting you that he went up the curb onto the pavement, bumping down again. You didn’t react, stayed sitting looking out to the front, it didn’t look like you were arguing back. I can remember gasping out loud, thinking did I really just witness that, the curbing of the pavement near where children often are made it all the more worse. I followed your truck back into the car park parking a few rows behind with you in sight. I sat shaking unsure of what to do. Nobody came out for a few minutes and in that time I decided to ring the Police, something I hadn’t done before for anything similar. As I was on the phone to them you got out of the car together with the kids you went into Mothercare as if nothing had happened. No one seemed upset, another sign it wasn’t the first time he had hit you. 

Describing where you were they sent a car and officers went in to the shop. I was scared by this point, would you both come out and see me on the phone in my car, would our eyes make contact and mine give away what I was doing? The kind of person that will happily hit who they are meant to love whilst driving and in front of their kids, probably wouldn’t think twice about hitting someone who had just interfered in their life. They told me on the phone that you said nothing had happened and because of this they couldn’t do anything. I can understand why you said that. He was there, you were in a public place, maybe you though you deserved to be hit? You don’t though, nobody does. Your children don’t deserve to grow up being a witness to domestic abuse and he doesn’t deserve to get away with it. 

I couldn’t sleep that night worrying if I had done the right thing although the Police had assured me that I had, I was worried that I could have made things worse for you. I hope it helped to show you that someone somewhere was saying it wasn’t acceptable.

I wished I could have shouted to you, been brave enough to go up to you and talk to you, but I wasn’t I hid in my car and I’m sorry for that. So here I am reaching out to you, who knows maybe the powers of the internet will mean I can find you and hopefully know that you and your children are happy and safe.

If you have been at all affected by this post there are some fantastic charities that support people who have been witnesses or victims of domestic abuse, Women’s Aid, Victim support and Refuge are all great places to start. 

23 Comments

  1. May 19, 2016 / 5:08 pm

    oh wow! sad, sad story! You did the right thing, I would have done the same! I hope she’s ok 🙁

  2. May 20, 2016 / 6:14 am

    What a horrible situation for the poor woman. You definitely did the right thing for both her and those children. Good on you. I don’t understand why people have to be like this.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #PickNMix
    Life Loving recently posted…Sherborne Castle Craft FairMy Profile

  3. May 20, 2016 / 6:39 am

    You totally did the right thing. She may not be brave today, but she might be in the future. Your actions could have stirred a trigger in her mind that this isn’t right and the police do care. It will just take her time to figure how to do it and I pray she gets to that point soon. X
    Laura @dearbearandbeany recently posted…Tips for Flying with Children…My Profile

  4. May 20, 2016 / 6:53 am

    You did the right thing. Even if that lady chose not to take the help offered, it was offered. A hand was reached out and sometimes that’s enough. Years ago we had neighbours above us who used to argue all the time, loudly. Then one Sunday it started at 7am. It seemed to be all a male voice and there was lots of bumping and ‘other’ noises. Then I heard him say he was so sorry, he hadn’t meant to hit her. And that was all I needed. I called the police, just like you. They came quickly and the noise stopped. I shook the whole time, for the same reasons you did. They were there an hour and they left with the man. A day later the woman packed up her things in bin bags and was gone. He never came back to the flat. I still think I did the right thing. Gave her enough space to realise this wasn’t the way she want to live. I’ll never know for sure, but it’s what I believe. And maybe even if the woman you saw didn’t report her abuser this time, maybe it made her think. #picknmix
    Lisa Savage recently posted…My Summer Pain – and why I wouldn’t change itMy Profile

  5. May 20, 2016 / 6:53 am

    Oh my, such a sad affair.
    Well done for acting so quickly, you definitely did the right thing.
    I do hope she gains the strength and courage to leave that bully xx

    #picknmix

  6. May 20, 2016 / 7:29 am

    What a terrible thing to witness but I think you should be proud that you were brave enough to report this not feel bad because you didn’t personally intervene. Many people would have turned a blind eye and you didn’t.

  7. May 20, 2016 / 8:40 am

    Oh no this is awful, poor woman/kids. Imagine how you would feel if you had turned a blind eye though? You had to make a decision and it was the right thing to do. X #picknmix

  8. May 20, 2016 / 9:33 am

    What an awful thing for you to witness. I admit I would’ve been totally torn about what to do, so you’re braver than I am for making such a quick decision and you totally did the right thing – domestic abuse is just horrendous and completely unacceptable. It’s so sad that children have to witness it at home. I’m sure your actions made the woman feel like she was worth more and hopefully she’s moved on. Well done you xx #picknmix

  9. May 20, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Oh my goodness, what you did is amazing. Domestic abuse needs to be reported and you did exactly that. You also had the good grace to follow them and watch out for the lady, I sooo hope she sees this somehow.

    #picknmix
    RachelSwirl recently posted…LittleLoves – Mumma’s Got A Brand New Bag!My Profile

  10. May 20, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    bless you, I think you did the right thing. I would proabaly just ran over and tried to help…but then thought better of it and like you would have called the police. poor women and those children,I hope she reads this and reaches out for help 🙁 good for you x #PicknMix

  11. May 20, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    Oh my gosh…what an awful story!!! I really hope the lady is okay, and you definitely did the right thing! #picknmix

  12. May 20, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    You would feel awful wondering if you hadn’t done what you did so don’t regret it. It’s a heartbreaking story.

  13. May 20, 2016 / 7:41 pm

    What a horrific story and experience for you. You did absolutely the right thing. Well done. It must have been really terrifying. Thankfully I can’t identify with the woman’s scenario, but the stories you hear say that it is so tough for them to admit, let alone confront or deal with what is happening to them. Let’s hope someone close to her will one day provide her with some help and support to take the necessary next step. #picknmix

  14. Mud cakes and wine
    May 20, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    What a post, you so did the right thing. Maybe it will just put a thought in her head that other people think it’s not right. I once witnessed a young lad being roughed up I moved my car and called the police who sent someone round as it really upset me to watch it happening. Well done and hope the support you have got helps #picknmix

  15. May 20, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    A very touching piece of writing. You totally did the right thing. But I can see at the time why you thought you could have made it worse. No one should have to put up with domestic abuse. Xx

    #picknmix
    Rachel Bustin recently posted…Fussy Baby – Word of the WeekMy Profile

  16. May 21, 2016 / 12:30 am

    You did an incredibly brave thing by reporting it and hopefully it will have helped the lady get help x #PickNMix

  17. May 21, 2016 / 5:45 am

    oh what a horrific thing to have witnessed? So so awful. You definitely did the right thing – well done you – I don’t think I would have known to react so quickly. Domestic abuse is so frightening and the stats are frightening too. Thank you for your addition of the help though and if anyone is reading this post that may be in a similar situation it may make them to think to get help. Thank you for sharing #Piacknmix

  18. May 21, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I think you did the right thing, and good for you. Unfortunately too many people wouldn’t have done anything at all. In the short term, its possible something like this could make him take out extra anger on her behind closed doors, but maybe it would be a reminder to her that this isn’t OK. #picnmix

  19. May 21, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    I’ve had to call the police before for something similar, though I won’t say any more publicly. You definitely made the right choice lovely, especially where children are involved. Let’s hope she found the strength.

    Stevie xx
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Alpha and Omega Dino Digs DVD CompetitionMy Profile

  20. May 27, 2016 / 5:11 am

    You did the right thing. I’ve been in a kind of similar situation where I wasn’t sure if intervening was the right thing to do, but like you I thought that if it was me I would have appreciated it eventually. Poor poor woman, and her children. So sad xx x

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