Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Handle with care - domestic violence behind closed doors ?

Would you stop to help someone involved in a domestic on a lonely country road ?

Today, as I drove home from shopping in town, I noticed a well dressed lady walking - clearly not for leisure or exercise - with her hand bag and a car following slowly . I passed them with caution and pulled into the driveway of a nearby farm [gate] up the road.

I thought I saw the lady hurl herself and handbag at the car in the middle of road. The car turned and drove off . After it passed me, I went to check she was ok and offered to drive her somewhere. (It was 17km walk into town along country road and not particularly safe anytime , especially once you got to the highway). I was 3km from home.

She jumped in without hesitation (I must look safe) maybe she was scared ? relieved?. She was a bit teary , said she was in a mess but ok. He had told her to get out of the car , so she did. "To stand up for myself !"

She wanted to go to the local train / bus station and travel 750kms far west (from her partner) to her sister. She had recently lost her Mum (Diagnosed with Cancer and passed away within 6 weeks) , was grieving and had some issues with partner over her Mum's death and being away.  She chatted on the 15min trip back into town, mostly I listened. She told me her name and a bit about what was happening and wanting to stand up for herself and said she probably did /said the wrong thing too - made him angry and frustrated.

By the time we got to town , she had changed her mind. I think she would have lucked out on the bus /train anyway [I checked it is a 2 day trip - and she would have to go to Sydney first.]

She asked that I drop her at the Bank (because she had thrown the credit card at him as he'd demanded it back - what I saw when I thought she was throwing something at the car) and said she might have a bite to eat and think things over.

I did offer her a safe place if needed ; she told me where she lives. She didn't say she was in any danger and she was happy to leave her two children ( < 5yrs) with him (they were at preschool)

Why did I stop - because last night I finished Liane Moriarty's (a review for another day)


One of the themes Liane's book plugs into is domestic violence.

The Lady was literally describing her behaviour like the character in the book.

Mind you , I was so focused on the lady I couldn't tell you the colour or make of the car , only that is was a 4WD. I didn't see the man. I'd make a pathetic witness...

Who knows what goes on behind closed suburban doors or bushy farm gates or right in the middle of country back road ?

In a few days, I am wondering if I should drop a card in her letter box (She lives on a property, not in suburbia) so I doubt I could drive by and see her out and about.

It's still bugging me - what would you do ?