I saw you in the street today, you were trying to stay upright as he marched you down the pavement, his hand clamped tightly around your arm. I could see the glazed look in your eye, has this happened so many times you don’t see it as odd? Perhaps you look down at the marks he leaves on your arm as reminders he loves you, or maybe you realise it’s an unhealthy life. Maybe you’re just scared to leave him, perhaps you have children and can’t see a life without their father in the picture or perhaps you think you love him too much to leave.
Possibly you talked to the person he doesn’t like, maybe you spent too long in that shop. Perhaps you didn’t dress the way he told you to. Does he tell you you’re worthless? That the world would be better off without you? Deep down inside your mind there is a suffocated voice, a whispering on the wind, that he is wrong. You are valuable, you deserve the right to be you and he shouldn’t be able to corrupt your happiness.
It’s ironic, the media is full of stories just like you. Though he may tell you that you are, you’re not alone. You may be even going down the path behind another woman in the exact same circumstance, maybe even more than one. Possibly your story is not as unique as you may feel, but that’s a good thing. That means that the people who say they can help really can, they are experienced in dealing with your situation.
Maybe, you are aware of the help you need. Possibly he is so controlling that you feel that you have no way to be saved. There is always a way, and if you choose the right opportunity you can escape. Pick up the phone when he’s out, visit the domestic abuse website, don’t just accept your situation. Better things are coming for you.
In that half a minute I glimpsed you, I saw the reactions of the people around you. Some like mine, others totally unaware. We are just strangers to you and maybe you wouldn’t accept or even want any help from us. It’s not our place, it’s not our life. However, there are people who can help you. I am aware you are unlikely to ever read this; the probability is such a small number there are too many zeros in front of it to even be considered. Yet, I am writing this to you- I hope I am wrong, I hope you are okay.
From the stranger in the street
English National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 80 10 800
Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland) 0800 917 1414
Scottish Women’s Aid 0800 027 1234
Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327
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