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    Default Wwyd - witnessing violence against women

    Trigger warning - domestic violence

    I was on the train one weekday afternoon last year. It was one of those country trains where you walk in the outside doors into a little alcove and have to push open an internal door to get to the seating section.

    I was on the phone, sitting down, when I realised it was a quiet carriage so I went to stand in the alcove. After the door closed behind me I realised I was alone in the alcove with a young couple. The girl was crouched down in the corner sobbing with the man standing right over her aggressively yelling and gesticulating at her. He looked like someone who was very familiar with 'substances' and very probably high at that moment. Basically, he looked like a violent man.

    I knew I needed to do something but I realised there was a reasonable chance of him beating me up if I intervened. I'm about 172cm and slim from watching my food rather than actually being fit and healthy and strong. I was also about 7 weeks pregnant.

    I didn't intervene, but I told the guard, who proceeded to do nothing. They got off the train at the next stop when I did and I saw them alone at the end of the platform still arguing.

    I know we're supposed to intervene when this stuff happens but I have no idea how. I'm certain I didn't do enough, but what should I have done?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally1981 View Post
    Trigger warning - domestic violence

    I was on the train one weekday afternoon last year. It was one of those country trains where you walk in the outside doors into a little alcove and have to push open an internal door to get to the seating section.

    I was on the phone, sitting down, when I realised it was a quiet carriage so I went to stand in the alcove. After the door closed behind me I realised I was alone in the alcove with a young couple. The girl was crouched down in the corner sobbing with the man standing right over her aggressively yelling and gesticulating at her. He looked like someone who was very familiar with 'substances' and very probably high at that moment. Basically, he looked like a violent man.

    I knew I needed to do something but I realised there was a reasonable chance of him beating me up if I intervened. I'm about 172cm and slim from watching my food rather than actually being fit and healthy and strong. I was also about 7 weeks pregnant.

    I didn't intervene, but I told the guard, who proceeded to do nothing. They got off the train at the next stop when I did and I saw them alone at the end of the platform still arguing.

    I know we're supposed to intervene when this stuff happens but I have no idea how. I'm certain I didn't do enough, but what should I have done?
    I think you did the right thing. You told a guard - who is there for this kind of thing.
    I don't think physically stepping in is always helpful and certainly isn't always safe.
    The only other thing you probably could have done is called the police, either from the carriage, out of ear shot of them, or once they left the train.

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    Default Wwyd - witnessing violence against women

    I would have been more direct with the guard - if I saw no action I would have made it clear that I would be raising a formal complaint.

    If the situation was too volatile for me to intervene - if I was worried about getting beaten up - then for me that would have been the trigger to say a police response was needed. I probably would have told the guard "it will look better for the rail corp if you call them however I am happy to call if needed."

    Hindsight and a degree of separation is a wonderful thing though.
    Last edited by VicPark; 10-11-2015 at 20:12.

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    gingermillie  (10-11-2015)

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    I personally wouldn't have intervened, as I'm small and unfit, so would have just been beaten myself. If he was just yelling there's not much you could do really. If he was actually hitting/pushing her I would have called police if/when safe to do so.

    Don't be too hard on yourself, it's very confronting and confusing to witness something like this. It can be quite paralysing when you are scared or unsure of what you're actually witnessing.

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    gingermillie  (10-11-2015)

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    I think the best thing to do in these cases is somehow let the police know. No point putting yourself in danger, that's what the police are there for. I possibly would've gone to another carriage or at least out of ear shot and called the cops with as much detail as possible.

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    If he's doing that to someone he "loves" then his moral compass is off and wouldn't hesitate to do the same to others. You did the right thing by telling the guard, he to was prob concerned for his safety. drugs are powerful things and a team of trained police officers can sometimes have trouble restraining someone let alone a single guard.

    Would asking for the time, or do they know what stop is next help defuse the situation / take focus off

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    Not exactly sure about train guards, but general security guards are there as a deterrent, there are under no obligation to jump into a dangerous situation on their own.

    The guard might have called the police if he thought it was necessary?

    Or you could call the police yourself.


 

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