Thursday, November 13, 2008

She Was Afraid

An officer got called to the station. A woman had walked in the lobby to ask a question. Since I was upstairs doing paperwork I didn't feel it necessary to have a unit waste gas to answer a question. So I went down there expecting a simple 'question and answer' conversation. I was wrong. I met the two women. The other was a friend there for support. She said she had some questions about domestic violence. She told me about her husband who had been abusing her for the past three years. I asked if she ever reported him before and she had not. She said she had hoped it would get better on its own. A classic symptom of an abuse victim. Not one to beat around the bush I told her if he hasn't changed in three years he isn't going to change by now. I asked her when was the last incident which was the night before. A plan began forming in my head. I had her tell me about how he hit her and choked her. She comes from a culture where women are traditionally subservient to men (which isn't necessarily a bad thing-just kidding!!!!). Anyway, I took her statement. I gave her some information for victims and recommended a group that helps victims of domestic violence. This group is run by women who have been victims themselves. She was only expecting friendly advice. She was surprised, and overwhelmed when she realized I was filing charges on him. Normally we'd have to do more investigation since this is a previous occurrence. However, she showed me some really hateful text messages he had sent her (i.e. "wait till ur ass gets home"). That was enough convince me he was an abuser and all my training and experience dealing with these scenarios showed classic signs of the abuser/victim mentality. Her lip started trembling as I filed the charges on her behalf. She started making comments like "how much is this going to cost him" and "what about his family" and "he has to work." All signs of a victim taking the blame for what is about to happen. No matter how delicately I put it I couldn't convince her not to feel guilty and that was because I'm a man. Sure I have all this training and experience dealing with abuse victims. Yet still, I cannot make that one on one connection because I have not been in her shoes. That's why I recommended the organization run by women because I know they can find the right words. It's better a woman who has been down that road counsel a woman currently in a abusive relationship.

I get the warrant filed and I choose three other officers to go get him. I knocked on the door and he answered. She had told me there was a gun in the house. He invited us in. The plan was to tell him we need to talk about an incident and get up to him and grab him. However he backed up because I guess the way I was focused on him he could tell I was coming for him. Not knowing where the gun was and in case things were about to go to hell and I had to justify my actions later. I flat out told him I had a warrant for his arrest. So, I'm covered now. He tensed up, his eyes widened, he was trying to process the information and was debating "fight or flight." So we grabbed his arms and had to wrestle with him to handcuff him. He wanted to debate the issue. We got him in custody then I explained it all to him. So, he went to jail. I sure hope that woman calls the domestic violence organization for help. This is her chance to break free. I sure hope she takes it. If she does, then regardless of what the future holds, at least I made a difference in someone's life.

1 comment:

Shane, Amanda and Adam said...

I feel for this woman, and I hope she will use this as a chance to get help and get out of this relationship, but I have my doubts. I have heard of cases where the woman chickens out and bails out the husband... I would love it if you kept us updated on this case.