that was hard

Last night I was walking home around 1:30am down Sherbourne Street. generally, this is not a time of the night that I like to be in that area without a weapon or martial arts expertise, but whereas I only had a quick few blocks to go from home I thought why not?

About 30 seconds into the walk I heard a bit of scuffling type sound coming from a covered porch on a house. Thinking it might be a raccoon and they’re kind of funny, I stopped to pull out the H4 in case it decidd to make some weird raccoon sounds. What I heard instead was a woman crying suddenly for someone to help her, then a very large man stand up over her and tell her to shut up with a whole string of other expletives in between.

Then he hit her, and hard.

Ok. So this is where I venture into the dangerous territory of a blogger ( explained really well by Meredith here last night) and try and explain something that many people have many different opinions about what the right thing to do is. We’d all like to believe that confronted with this kind of situation we’d be “a man” about it, gallantly walk up those stairs, turn the fellow around and grab him by the lapels, and say something cliche like “pick on someone your own size!”, then fight him one to one, and win of course. He’d learn his lesson and all is well.

Wrong. This is Toronto, it’s 2009, it’s 1:30 am. If I go anywhere near those steps or even get noticed I’m there, there’s a very large chance that I’m going to get shot/stabbed/beaten or all three. If this guy has no quams about openly beating a woman on his front porch, he’ll have noooooo issue with taking me down in the same fashion or worse.

So what did I do? All I could think do, I called 911. I reported the address and what was happening. The problem is that by the time anyone comes to that address it’s all over. I couldn’t stop what was happening, and I doubt the police were able to either, but I just didn’t know what else to do.

So jvt readers, what would you do? Did I do the right thing? I hope I did. It’s kind of a grim topic, but it happens so much more then we’d like to think.

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3 thoughts on “that was hard

  1. Robin says:

    That’s nutso! I would have completely frozen, and/or pissed my pants. At the most, I would have yelled at him, but as you said he probably would’ve pounded me. Did you stick around to see what happened?

  2. meredith says:

    Oh, that is hard!
    Yes, I think you did exactly what was right. Anything else could have made the situation even worse.

    And yes, way more often then we think and especially more than we hear about…

  3. Rita says:

    Okay, you absolutely did the right thing. Like you said, you can’t do anyone any help if you’re there lying beaten or worse. What are the chances of someone helping you? You physically could not help her, so calling for more help was great. Even armed policemen HAVE to call for back-up during any kind of altercation – that’s why they normally work in pairs.

    I know you must feel gross for not being able to do more, but you actually did far more than most, so you should feel proud.

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