OK. So, bear with me for a second here. It’s been a really long, really shitty couple of days. And I’m about to go all PSA on your asses, but it’s important. Because I’m really motherfucking upset right now.
I can no longer count on one hand the number of close friends who have ended up in Emergency at the hands of their male partners.
(And before someone gets all butthurt and says that domestic violence isn’t just a man on woman crime, I KNOW. But the comparison is ridiculous. Less than 1% of Australian men will suffer domestic violence. The number for women is thought to be at least 30%, with some studies saying it might be closer to 40%. In this country, a woman dies every week at the hands of a former or current partner. So don’t fucking start with me.)
Alex’s phone started ringing sometime after two am. I vaguely heard it, but I definitely remember being smacked in the arm and Alex saying, “Get up. We gotta go, right now.”
So our friend was sitting in Emergency because her partner, who we know, we’ve spent a lot of time with and would never have thought capable of such a thing, came home drunk and beat the ever loving shit out of her. As in, I barely recognised her. Eye completely swollen shut, bruised everywhere, broken nose, split lip, fractured jaw. We both cried, just seeing her.
The night was long. We waited through x-rays and CAT scans, waited as they decided whether they’d need to wire her jaw back together (thankfully not), and sat with her as the social worker came and sat down. She could barely talk, but she could nod, and she could write.
This wasn’t even the first time he’d put his hands on her. Fucking hell. She’d been hiding it, obviously. I’m not here to explain what makes a woman stay in an abusive relationship. I just want to tell you this:
IF YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP WHERE YOUR PARTNER PHYSICALLY THREATENS OR HARMS YOU, THAT IS NOT A LOVING RELATIONSHIP AND IT IS NOT FUCKING OKAY.
Goddammit. GodFUCKINGdammit. And it is not her fault, even though she thought it might be. And it didn’t matter what fucking invisible sin she’d committed, because he should NOT have put his hands on her like that. And I really, really hate that this is what it took for her to finally leave. It took broken bones and concussion and discussions about damage to her eyesight (it’s possible, have to wait til the swelling goes down). I hate that she felt like there was nothing she could do.
If you are in a relationship where you fear for your life, please get the fuck out. There are people who can help you. And it is NOT YOUR FAULT. They will not change. It will happen again. And you deserve better than fear.
Our friend has moved into one of our spare rooms. I don’t give a fuck how long she stays for. I care that she wakes up crying in the middle of the night. I care that she’s still in so much pain she can’t eat solid food. I care that someone did this to one of my friends. And I fucking care that this makes six of them.
It makes me sick to my stomach.
(If I need to add any other trigger warnings to this, let me know by ask.)