Monday, May 18, 2009

But She Got in the Car

We went to a bridal shower tonight for some really good friends of ours. The timing of it worked out so that Sam and I picked Bob up from work. He was finishing some things up inside as Sam and I walked out to get loaded up in the car when I saw it.

A young hispanic couple.

At first, I thought they were just flirting and messing around in the parking lot. I, pretty quickly, realized they weren't messing around. The guy was being a little too rough and when he grabbed her by the back of the neck to push her ahead of him, I could tell by her body language things weren't ok with her.

It's funny how many thoughts ran through my mind in a very short time.
What? What are they doing? Are they just messing around?No...she's kind of crouched down and he's grabbing her neck pretty roughly. Where's Sam? Ok, near the front of the car. I'm not gonna be one of those people who witnesses something bad happening and doesn't say anything.

"HEY! HEY! Leave her alone!"

I guess I caught his attention enough to push her away from him. Now what? Where's Bob?

I ran back and stuck my head back in Bob's office and told him to come out real quick because there was some guy who looked like he was about to beat up his girlfriend.

As he came out, the hispanic guy was getting into his car. His girlfriend (I guess) was walking around the front of the car to get in. I almost called out to her, "You don't have to go with him - we can help you." But I didn't. Honestly, I was already afraid I had made things worse for her.

He backed up and sped out of the parking lot quickly. Just like that, they were gone.

Needless to say, I was a bit shaken up after that. Did I do the right thing? Did I make the guy even more angry and cause things to be worse for her? Why did she get in the car with him? Why? Why do women put up with behavior like that?


Kristina said...

I´m sorry that you had to be in that situation. It´s really tough. Women put up with it for one reason, they are scared for their life not to. One of the ways that men abuse is to threaten suicide, or to threaten to kill you, or someone you know. The women don´t get out because they can´t until they feel they have a safe way of leaving without anyone getting hurt.

And I want to mention that we should remember that this doesn´t just happen to young women, poor women, women with no education. It´s the same on all levels. It happens more than you think.

I have been in that situation. It took me over a year to get out because I had to carefully plan it so that no one would get hurt. Afterwards the guy still threatened to kill himself because of me which is when I went to his family and fortunately that was the end and I didn´t have to go to the police.

These women aren´t stupid, they feel they have no choice and are afraid.

I think it´s really hard to understand but until these women have a safe route out, they won´t leave.

Kristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greta said...

I hate that you've been in a situation like that, but I'm SO thankful you aren't in it anymore. So thankful.

Thanks for being so open and helping to shed a little light on the "why".

Kristina said...

oh no problema. I like to think of the everything happens for a reason and I hope to be able to help other women out there by recognizing the warning signs and letting them know that there is a way out. And I could REALLY do something with the latin community since yo hablo espanol, you know?

great post :)

Courtney said...

that's terrible, greta! i think you did the right thing though. i would've been so angry to see that!!

Beth said...

Sad. What an awful experience. What's worse, this happens on all levels... and in so many different ways. Luckily, I never experienced any physical abuse. But the mental and emotional anguish was horrendous. Spirit breaking. life altering. And why do women "put up with it?" Fear. Guilt. Being unsure of whom to turn to and what to do next. Feeling alone. Feeling stupid for getting into the situation in the first place.... the list goes on and on.
Kudos to you for your strength to say/do something! You did the right thing. Only God can take care of the rest!