Investigator, " If you knew he was hurting her, why didn't you call the police?"
Rebecca, looking at her feet, "She begged me not to. I didn't want to make it worse for her."
Investigator, "He was kicking her, hitting her, strangling her.......How much worse do you think it could have possibly been for her? You could have helped."
I will never, ever forget that police officers words to me. It sits in the pit of my stomach like a rotting burden of guilt. My reality.
For thoughts on what to do if you've found yourself in an abusive relationship, please visit Indigo's journal at Scream Quietly.
If you have found yourself in the position of loyal friend being a witness to such atrocities, please heed my words.
I was the first one to find bruises on my friend. I was the first one to confront her and I never let up, nor stopped begging her to leave him. I was the one she called at 3:00 a.m. bawling and injured, I comforted her and talked until I was blue in the face, I offered my house as a safe sleeping zone, only to watch her go back everytime.....I thought I was being the best friend I could be.....but I never once called the police.
I was made an accessory to his beatings without even understanding and realizing it until almost the end.
I used every mind trick tactic filled with caring and love I could conjure up to shake reality, reasoning and hope through her despair for three long years.........but his mind tricks and fists were far more powerful. His power triumphed each time and each time I would try getting through her with a new revised plan...but I never once called the police.
Coffee. That's what I took her for. Coffee in a nice safe zone. Three years it took for that cup of coffee, but I was tired, worried beyond a worry I could explain in words but the core part of my role in this story...... I had realized the sick and twisted role I had been placed in.
I told her, "I love you, but I can no longer be a party to this. I love you, but if you end up dead tomorrow it will be partially my fault because I know whats going on and did nothing. I know what he's doing, yet every time I watch quietly while you go back. I love you, but you can no longer call me at 3:00 a.m. I love you, but if you end up dead, how will I ever be able to face your children, face myself. I've been doing this for 3 years and nothing I've done has helped. I no longer want to know details, I can't bear it. But, if you choose to leave him, I'll do everything in my power to help you."
I had made a choice, a hard line choice. Two months from that cup of coffee, to her day of freedom. A beating and an attempting drowning in the bath tub and she finally called the police. Finally, I was able to do what friends are supposed to do, help.
But, as with all things, we people must face our choices and actions, which is what I had to do with the investigators. Now, today, everyday, but especially on that day at the police station when I said, "I didn't want to make things worse for her." I could see and feel in every fiber of my being, the extreme ignorance in my innocence.
I was the friend who could see clearly but I didn't do the right thing and I should have. I assure you, the one in the abusive relationship can't see anything clearly. They are brainwashed, scared, embarrassed, humiliated, blinded, mortified and unsure of taking one single step without permission from the monster that controls them.
Call the police, despite your loved ones wishes. Don't enable a situation through caring ignorance. The police won't go storming in unless someone is in immediate danger. Make a plan with them. And just so everyone knows, and clearly understands, when it comes to trial and the law, everyone that knew anything will be on trial in one way or another. A defense attorney looks at a friends lack of action as damn near an admission that nothing was going on significant enough to call police.....think about that. Take notes, keep a log, establish a pattern...be a solid witness for your friend.
My friend is lucky, I am lucky. My gracious and merciful reality is the top conversation, but it could have just as easily been this bottom one.....................no friend should carry such a burden.
Investigator," If you knew he was hurting her, why didn't you call the police?"
Rebecca, sobbing and devastated, "She begged me not to. I didn't want to make it worse for her."
Investigator," She's dead now, whats worse then that?"