Friday, April 8, 2011

Not Up In Here

I called 911 today. 

Second time this month.

And this time it wasn't even because of anything related to my kids or my house. 

I know, right?

I had piled all the kids into the car for soccer practice and we were heading out that way when I turned onto the street running adjacent to our neighborhood.

Between our neighborhood and the next one over, a green way backing to the golf course.

I noticed the car first, parked in the middle of the gap.  An unusual place for a car to ever be parked. 

Then I saw them. 

And I realized almost immediately what was happening.  Other cars had passed what I saw before me, and kept going.  More would drive by, either not see it or refuse to, continue on their way. 

I drove almost out of sight, pulled off to the side, grabbed my phone and dialed 911.

Told the kids to stay in their seats and keep their seat belts on.

I gave fairly detailed descriptions of the car, of the two people.

The dispatcher asked me what I could see.

He was carrying her, throwing her against the fence.  There was screaming and yelling.  She was trying to get away from him.  He'd run her down, grab her wrist and drag her back. 

The dispatching officer asked for more help, but told me to stay a safe distance away in case the man was armed.  He needed more information about the couple.

They were young.  Late teens or early twenties. 

It was ugly. 

The man didn't seem to notice that I drove past several times getting more details on his description, details on hers, reading off the plates of his car to dispatch, or that I sat there in my car on the phone until the police arrived. 

He was bold enough to do this out in the open, during daylight hours, oblivious to the fact that someone else was watching. 

I stopped.  I called.  No one else did.

At least twenty other cars passed the scene in the time I sat there, not a single one hit the brakes or even hesitated a moment.  Not one.

Domestic violence is real.  No one wants to think about it.  No one wants to pretend that it could happen to them or to someone they know.  No one wants to get involved in someone else's business.

Most of the time, it's not so brazenly obvious.  Most of the time, it's a secret kept at home.  But even in the full light of day, almost everyone turned a blind eye to it.  Almost everyone refused to see what was happening and stop.


All but me.

You see, I can't turn a blind eye.  I refuse.  Can't do it.

After the first police car arrived and the second came into view, I left.  Drove on to soccer practice.

On the way there, I had a long conversation with my children about what is and is not acceptable in a relationship.  As much as I wish they hadn't seen it so violently up close and personal, in some ways I am glad they did. 

They saw how ugly it was.  They knew instinctively that it was wrong. 

I hope that my children remember what they saw today, I hope that they remember what I did, but more importantly I hope that they never ever have to deal with this violence personally. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

1 comment:

  1. Good work. I hope you gave your contact info to the police so you could be a witness.


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