He was physically restraining her, trying to force her into an apartment building. 911 was called. He was pushing her into the exterior wall of the apartment building when the police arrived. She was unable to escape unless she, or someone, used physical force, which she was unwilling to do. When the police arrived, she was only partially dressed; she yelled for help. The police approached. He stepped in front of her, grabbed her arms, and wrapped them around his waist. His back was pushing her into the building.
The police spoke to them. The entire time, he was between her and the police, and was holding her arms around his waist. In appearance, she was holding him; but his hands never left her wrists, so she could not have separated herself from him without using force.
A friend said to her, “Do you want to leave him? Do you want to come with me?” “Yes,” she said.
After more discussion, she left with her attacker, looking cowed and afraid, and the police drove away. Her back had many scratches from the brick building she’d been pushed into. At no time did the police separate the two to get her story outside of his earshot and physical influence.
The above incident is true, witnessed by me, today, with one minor change: “He” was a “she” and “she” was a “he.”
How much of a difference does that make? How much should it make? Is it an argument for “Men’s Rights,” pointing out that, in fact, women have the advantage? Is it an argument for equality, pointing out that sexual discrimination hurts everyone? (For the record, my own answers are “a lot” “none” “no” and “yes.”)
I think, above all, it shows us that as a society we are unequipped to deal with the sort of mental illness that turns lovers into abusers.