Is Everything Alright?: My Encounter w/ Domestic Violence

ray-rice-janay-rice.jpg In the aftermath of the Ray Rice situation, I took to Twitter to discuss domestic violence and to brainstorm ways on how to prevent it. Within a mere 48 hours, all of that was put to the test.

... This week, as I was on my way USC to meet a friend for a brainstorming session. I entered the train station and realized that I didn’t have exact change. In the process, I had to miss the train that I needed to make it on time. As my train flew by, I descended onto the platform to find two individuals moving sporadically at the end of the platform. I saw what looked like two people dancing, but upon further observation I saw one of the individuals striking the other.

Eventually, I saw that it was a couple — the female was aggressively hitting and kicking the young man, who was trying to calm her down. As she swung and continued to yell, "I don't care, I don't care," he grabbed her arms in an effort to restrain her. Everyone on the platform looked uncomfortable as they tried to deflect from the awkwardness of the situation.

“Is everything alright?" Another young man and I bellowed out in unison.

"Yeah! We good," the young man responded as they continued wrestling one another.

After watching them further, I sensed that he was nearing his breaking point and knew enough was enough!

As I got closer I thought, Who am I to walk up to a couple in the middle of an argument that has nothing to do with me? Who am I  to speak on their relationship? And most importantly, How is this guy gonna respond to me intruding in his business? Although I didn’t know how things would end up, the stakes were far too high. All I  said was Father, be with me.

I then proceeded to introduce myself  in order to ease the tension. Shortly after, I reminded the young man that violence is never the answer and consoled the young woman, who was crying. Almost immediately, they stopped fighting and I knew I had done the right thing by intervening. As soon as I got back to where I had set my belongings, I felt the weight of what had just happened. I considered all of the future altercations that I wouldn’t be able to stop, and ran through the possibilities of what could’ve happened had I not been there.

The remaining people on the platform greeted me with reassured stares, while others looked at me in bewilderment, surprised by what I had just done. I looked back at them, disappointed in their indifference. "Why had no one helped to stop this," I thought.

In that moment, it became clear to me that domestic violence is a very real thing. Not only for the Ray Rice’s of the world, but to everyday people who endure behind closed doors. Whether those doors be in train stations or in hotel elevators, we have a responsibility to speak up.