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.
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.