A woman, trapped in a headlock, dragged across a supermarket car park by the man she loves.
That’s the haunting image painted by a domestic violence victim in an open letter to a better man, a decent man, a who stepped in and potentially saved her life.
To the stranger in the Wal-Mart parking lot, thanks for saving my life
You likely don’t realize that you saved my life, but you did.
I was too scared to call out for help. If I called out for help and it didn’t work, he’d be even angrier at me. This was my survival instinct kicking in.
As my husband dragged me in a headlock through the parking lot towards our car, I struggled to escape his grasp, hoping someone would notice and care.
You noticed, and more importantly, you cared enough to do something.
My husband is a large intimidating man. You are an average, somewhat timid looking man. As you held the hand of your little son, it must have crossed your mind that intervening could be dangerous and would certainly be uncomfortable.
“Hey! You can’t do that dude.”
Your voice stopped not only my husband in his tracks, but several other nearby patrons. My hope of rescue began to build.
“F**k off bro, this is my wife”.
My husband quickened his pace. The car was 15 feet away. Fear sunk back into my heart.
“I don’t care who she is, you can’t do that.”
My husband was extremely irritated at you. Perhaps even considering assaulting you. But then he started to feel the spotlight that was falling on him. More patrons were paying attention, some in their cars rolling down their window, some stopping in the parking lot to assess the situation.
It was enough. It was all I needed. My husband let go of me, got in the car and was gone. You went on with your day, surely unaware of the impact you just made on my life.
What you didn’t know is that I’d been trapped in the abusive relationship for years and that my husband had become absolutely unhinged in the last couple of days, showing levels of violence and anger I’d never seen in him.
What you didn’t know is that for the previous 32 hours he had kept me from my phone, my computer, my car, and any contact with anyone.
The only reason he risked taking me in public was because the income tax return was in my name and he wanted me to cash it for him. I honestly expected him to kill me afterwards.
Minutes after you saved my life, I borrowed another stranger’s phone and called the police and my mother.
Finally, I am free.
Thank you, stranger.