Breaking the Silence

I was interviewing someone today and caught a glimpse of her cheekbone and something kept nagging at me. I then looked in her eyes and noticed the eye on the side of the eye-catching cheekbone looked smaller than the other one.

And that bugged me. I don’t know if it was her skittish demeanor or the distinct feeling that something just seemed a little off-kilter with this obviously very bright young lady, but I had bells clanging away.

We kept chatting and she was telling me how well educated her Husband is. How stressful his job is. Still something was amiss and the bells kept clanging.

She was wearing a really pretty short-sleeved jersey that slipped up her arm just a smidgen. Up and over the edge of an enormous bruise on her arm.

At which point I had a choice: I could keep quiet or I could ask. If there’s one thing I’m truly terrible at it is keeping quiet. So I asked. Oh, she says, she fell. At home. With the lie playing around the edge of her voice.

I raised my eyebrows.

He just got so mad, she says. I don’t know why he was so mad. He’s never done it before. He promised never to do it again.

I felt really helpless and really angry at the same time. All I could remember was reading somewhere that domestic violence is about power so all I could think of saying is ‘YOU have the power. Don’t let him believe that he has all the power. Don’t underestimate how important YOU are. Don’t let him hurt you again.’

Which is really easy for me to say I guess, but dammit, I wasn’t going to say nothing.

What do you say? How do you deal with someone that is desperate to leave but too desperate not to leave?

7 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence”

  1. It is so simple to keep quiet and later fuss over whether or not ‘I should have said something.’ It takes guts, big, strong mom guts, to say something on the spot. You may have made a giant difference in the path of her life.

  2. I have something similar with my nanny at the moment.  I have found out that her husband beats her, he had the audacity to phone me and say she could not come to work because he had beatern her and taken her phone and money.

    It is a very difficult situation.  She has decided she wants to leave him as this has been going on for a number of years.  I am just trying to give her the support but it is her decision.  HOpefully she does not go back to him and thinks of what is best for her and her kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *