Blogger Template by Blogcrowds


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 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 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?"

26 Additional Thoughts:

I remember when my ex was suicidal for a while and she would beg me not to tell anyone. I didn't and it nearly killed me. However I finally got to talk to her therapist and she told me always tell since it helps the other person.

October 23, 2008 11:06 AM  

My Dearest Rebecca,

Thank you for this! Your words give such a powerful image to the issue. From someone who's been there let me just say this, even before the call was did more than most would of ever done. The fact you acknowledged her pain and listened is bigger than anyone could realize.

Unfortunately I never confided in anyone...the embarrassment/humiliation that I was better than this was always front and present. There are moments of silent serenity and musings that I'm still alive.

I never comphrended neighbors who heard windows break, screams, walls being bashed in that never picked up a phone. How much worse did it need to sound, would the ensuing silence have made it better...Those are the unforgiven ones. The ones who didn't even act as if their night wasn't shattered by a violent overthrow...

I know your heart dear one, and you did more than your giving yourself credit for. Thankfully you now know one more step to bring it home...making that call. In the end it is far better to be hated for doing the right thing, than to be loved for silence that screams. (Hugs) Indigo

October 23, 2008 11:29 AM  

Risking going against the wishes of someone you love to keep quiet in a situation like this and losing them is a far kinder outcome than to know what they are going through, abiding by their wishes and losing them at the hands of their abuser.

October 23, 2008 12:06 PM  

Powerful... and true. You did the right thing... so hard. I am glad that YOUR story ended well.

be well..

October 23, 2008 12:16 PM  

I have shared my own story with abuse at the hands of another. Thank you for sharing this story of the other side.

October 23, 2008 6:13 PM  

So glad that it was the first police quotes and not he second.

October 23, 2008 6:26 PM  

Rebecca, Thank you for sharing your experience. It gives the issues' view from anther perspective. It must have been one of the hardest things, to have to give that choice to someone already so broken.
Hugs, Leigh

October 23, 2008 8:04 PM  

this was such a poignant post. i have been there, and so many of my loved ones and friends turned a blind eye. i was crying out, desperate for help on how to get out, but i just didn't know how. i needed that push. i wish i had had a friend like you at the time. i would have gotten out.

sometimes, even though it makes me feel like a horrible person, i am glad that he took the easy way out. (even though, as usual, he made the choice for me,) it still left me no choice but to leave.

October 24, 2008 12:04 AM  

It's hard to sit back and watch, it just doesn't feel right does it? *M*

October 24, 2008 2:04 AM  

I'm glad for your friend's sake that this ended well. Your post speaks volumes and I appreciate the chance to have read your story. Although my friend left her abuser early and is doing well, my story too, could have been tragic because like you I didn't call the police.

October 24, 2008 6:06 AM  

Rebecca you were a good friend to her and that's all you could do. My friend, and next door neighbour, was abused by her husband and I used to be able to hear it going on. All I could do was protect her children each time. It wasnt until she showed me the bruises that I knew the true extent of what was going on. I have never seen such black bruises in my life. It shocked me - I didnt realise things like this happened. I did but I think we kind of block it out. Another friend of mine has just got out of an abusive relationship - we, her friends, did not have a clue it was going on until she left him.
Laine xxx

October 24, 2008 6:14 AM  

I've often read here, but seldom commented. Today I had to say something.

I don't know you by any means other than what you write here, but this entry spoke volumes about the quality of person you are. Being put into a situation like that is nothing we would ever wish for, but I think you handled it better than most people I can think of. It's horrible to think that someone could be subjected to such mistreatment by someone who they love, and who would claim to love them. People don't always know what's best for them, and it takes a good, strong friend to help them at just the right moment.

I hope you realize what an impact your words have had today. Thank you.

October 24, 2008 10:40 AM  

I found you via Ingio.
I am also a surivor of abuse. Thankfully, when I realize this man could kill me, with only the clothes on my and my child's back.
It took years for us to rebuild our lives, but long story short, I am now married to a wonderful who would never raise his hand to me other than to love me.
I too have taken coffee to a friend. I have too told her she needs to get out.
She did.

October 24, 2008 12:18 PM  

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Perhaps one day, someone will be reminded of your words, and will know that they need to speak up. You did what you thought was right at the time, and you learned what to do if, God forbid, the situation ever occurs again.

Based on Indigo's entry, I wrote my own story. Happily, not a physically abusive situation, but emotional. There are different kinds of hurt.

All my best,

October 25, 2008 9:22 AM  

Oh Rebecca...abuse such as this is what I call "the silent storm" it goes on everywhere and does not stop until the cold hard light of truth hits it square in its ugly face. I had a good friend whose boyfriend was controlling, they married, he got worse, they had a baby, he became even more aggressive trying to control her every move. Every bruise on her she would have an excuse for it, she walked into a door/wall/open cabinet door etc., tripped, fell etc..I offered every help in the world including that she and the baby could live with my family, we would protect her. My hubby wanted to kick the s..t out of this creep from the getgo. I had to hold him back. Nothing I could say or do could convince her to walk away from "her" man (I use the term man loosely) For the sake of my own sanity, the rage my hubby was feeling at this guy...I had to tell her I would not have any more contact with her until she wanted to save herself. They moved away shortly after this, to this day I often think of her, still worry about her and am so dam sad over this episode in my life. I wish I had called the cops. If it were today, I would in a, Sandi

October 25, 2008 9:48 AM  

This was very sobering and you're right it could have ended the worse way just as easily. Abuse like that is so unacceptable and the fear that is put on the victim is overwhelming. Thank you for posting this.

October 25, 2008 4:34 PM  

your story left goosebumps. thanks for sharing and getting others to share via their comments. i carry cards around with me with the number to the domestic violence hotline - just in case. [i know what it's like to be on both ends.] thanks again ...

October 26, 2008 1:45 PM  

Sometimes our gut instinct is overpowered by the requests of those we love. All any of us can hope for is the guidance of awareness, the ability to act when necessary and the wisdom to know when it is in everyone involved's best interest to just simply restrain from any action at all.

October 26, 2008 1:54 PM  

Sometimes our gut instinct is overpowered by the requests of those we love. All any of us can hope for is the guidance of awareness, the ability to act when necessary and the wisdom to know when it is in everyone involved's best interest to just simply restrain from any action at all.

October 26, 2008 1:54 PM  

Your cautionary tale is so significant. Thank you for sharing it.

October 26, 2008 7:54 PM  

On advice of dear friend Indigo I've come to hear you out. With no fanfare I'll say I do bear scars of the horrors humans can inflict on one another, man, woman, it matters little when you're the one being beaten. But surely your judgment of yourself is made in the vacuum of hindsight which of course is always 20/20. You stayed loyal to your friend, and sometimes that's all we really know how to give - the friendship expected of us, which many times means privacy, silence. Obviously, it was shameful to her and your advice brought that home when she wasn't able to absorb common sense. When is it time to interfere? I believe only when someone else's actions are affecting you. My rights end where yours begin, and your friend's right to ask silence of you was hers to expect. Thankfully, it was more than you could give. I believe you did what you had to in severing your company with her for the time it took, in order not to continue being a party to her abuse. But that's just so hard to know when you're young and hopeful for a friend who just doesn't seem to see what we do more clearly. A spousal abuser has no power, as you suggest they do. In fact no one has power over us until we give it to them. Your friend endured a tragedy you were simply not equipped to deal with, try as you might, because she wasn't ready to end her torment, for whatever reason. You'll never have to look back and say "If only I.." because it seems you did all possible until the only safe thing was keeping yourself protected, since you couldn't protect her. Surely you can be as kind to yourself as you obviously were to your friend? So you'll ask me, when is it our responsibility to intervene? I can only say it's a personal choice, it's not a universal behavior, in my opinion. Perhaps when humans have evolved the better angels of their nature more than their fear, we won't need suicide hotlines or safe houses for beaten spouses. Until then, it's a "one at a time" process and every victim has a reason they allow it to continue. All we can do is stand ready for the time they are too. Thanks for this engrossing story.

October 27, 2008 7:42 AM  

I've been there and experienced the same thing, from both sides (victim and friend of victim).
I'm glad your friend made it out alive.

October 27, 2008 8:38 AM  

Hi Rebecca,
Just moved..climbing uphill and looking for everybody..
I'm soo glad to find you.
Gem :-)

October 27, 2008 11:53 PM  

I was a victim over & over again from childhood into adulthood. I never knew why I was always singled out ~ maybe because people knew I had no one to defend me or support me. It is hard to be alone in the world. Thank God you were there for this person. I wish someone had been there for me. XX

October 28, 2008 11:30 PM  

I feel your friends pain...I know that you sure can lose friends when you are in an abusing is hard to think or anything cause you are always and emotional wreck..and sometimes the abuse you get from others hurts just as much as the pain you suffer in silence. wishing you a good week..big hugs,TerryAnn

October 29, 2008 10:54 AM  

Very powerful. Thank you for having the insight and courage to write this.

October 29, 2008 4:34 PM  

Newer Post Older Post Home