Abusive Situation? What would you do?

  1. Tonight in a parking lot, I witnessed a couple who were obviously in a heated discussion. She was crying and telling him to get away, not to touch her, and to leave her alone. He refused, insisting that he needed to talk to her some more. He would grab her arm and get in her way when she tried to walk away.

    What would you do in a situation like this?

    I parked my car, walked over to them, and asked if she was okay. They ignored me, and continued their "discussion". I hung around for a little while to be a witness, help if I could, or whatever. The whole time, my stomach was tied in knots because I was scared to death. The guy was just a high school kid, but you never know sometimes.

    I felt like I needed to hang around for the girl. I was in an abusive relationship once, and so many times when he wanted to "discuss" something, I wished that someone had come over.

    What do you guys think? I really want to know. Thanks for any responses.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    This is what i'd do.

    If i had my cell phone with me, i'd dial 911 right in front of them and report it. Granted you might think a situation wouldn't escalate, but you just said it, "you never know sometimes".
  4. by   Altra
    Just my .02 ...

    If you were in the parking lot of a store or mall you could have alerted someone from security, or called 911 if you had a cell phone. Teenage relationships can have an intensity about them, but even if the relationship isn't an abusive or maniupulative one, it would still send the message to both of them that this is not socially acceptable behavior in a parking lot. Personally, I think your instincts were probably right about this. The girl may not yet get "get it" - about the kind of relationship she's in, and she may not have been receptive to any offer of help.

    Tough situation.
  5. by   barefootlady
    I would call 911, wait around until the cops show up and then tell the cops what I witnessed, if the girl did not want help then say "fine, why were you making such a ruckus in public?" Look at the guy and tell him "NO" means NO. I saw you grab her and pull her, she was resisting, I was doing my civil duty to report this abuse. Maybe they will get the message to keep the problems/fights out of public places. Teenagers often have crisis but they need to understand there are limits to public behavior.
  6. by   live4today
    Quote from barefootlady
    i would call 911, wait around until the cops show up and then tell the cops what i witnessed, if the girl did not want help then say "fine, why were you making such a ruckus in public?" look at the guy and tell him "no" means no. i saw you grab her and pull her, she was resisting, i was doing my civil duty to report this abuse. maybe they will get the message to keep the problems/fights out of public places. teenagers often have crisis but they need to understand there are limits to public behavior.
    perfect answer! we think alike on this one barefootlady.
  7. by   gypsyatheart
    Quote from barefootlady
    I would call 911, wait around until the cops show up and then tell the cops what I witnessed, if the girl did not want help then say "fine, why were you making such a ruckus in public?" Look at the guy and tell him "NO" means NO. I saw you grab her and pull her, she was resisting, I was doing my civil duty to report this abuse. Maybe they will get the message to keep the problems/fights out of public places. Teenagers often have crisis but they need to understand there are limits to public behavior.
    Excellent response! ITA!!!
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Dang barefoot you are a smart cookie . You always seem to have a witty, wise way of putting things. You are not the reincarnated Erma Bombeck are ya? (just kidding)
  9. by   nursemichelle
    I work in a program where we deal with spouse abuse/drug abuse on a daily basis, and the best thing I can tell you is to call the police for help and stay far enough away to keep yourself in a safe situation. The domestic violence situations can escalate so quickly, and get to a point before you know it that you might be putting yourself in an unsafe situation if you approach the offender. Just being in the vicinity might keep him from doing something too awful while you are waiting for police to show up. Then, hopefully the police would encourage her to get some counseling so that she wouldn't stay in an abusive relationship, or repeat the pattern and choose another abuser in the future. Just my 2 cents
  10. by   louloubell1
    There is a reason that police consider domestic violence situations extremely dangerous, not only for the victim, but for law enforcement personnel walking into the scene. Alert the authorities, stick around to be a witness if you can, but stay far removed from the physical vicinity. Let the professionals handle it.

    Just my .02
  11. by   nurseygrrl
    I would have called the police as well.
  12. by   adidas99
    Wow....I would have called the police.
    Last edit by adidas99 on Feb 1, '07
  13. by   hock1
    My neighbor was being beaten in the front yard by her husband. I was 10 at the time. My mother and another lady interrupted the fight. The police showed up and told my mom and other woman to mind their own business because the couple would 'kiss and make up'. After the cops left (before the days of auto arrest), the husband bashed a microwave to pieces and said he wished it was the wife's head! My mom told me that NO MAN like that was worthy of me. Do ya'll know the wife stayed with him for 5 more years! She did finally take the couragous step and leave him. He took the car and emptied the house before he left. When I became involved with a boyfriend who treated me poorly and threatened to hit me for leaving a scuff mark on his car, I left him right away. I remembered my mom's words and that bashed in microwave. Now I'm happily married to a man 'worthy' of me. Lucky lady I am. I probably would have called the police if I saw the situation in the parking lot.
  14. by   barefootlady
    Really, I just have an older eye on the situation of abuse. I don't like abuse in any form. As nurses, we know abuse can and does take many forms, we must be on our guard to stop it or set approiate limits by setting examples for those we come into contact with everyday. Having said that, I will now go and kick the cat. LOL.

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