No Names to Protect The Innocent.

I was twelve. My school was at a local theater, doing rehearsals for the annual variety concert - I was to be performing my first vocal solo.
There was a lunch break and we kids were outside, in a playground, playing as kids do. I heard a young girl crying - she was in a swing and two of the older boys were pushing her hard to make her swing higher. She was scared, because she couldn't get away, and she couldn't get them to stop. The swing was on solid railings, so I ran over, pushed the boys away, and stopped the swing dead with one arm - and broke it.
The young girl was so shocked by my scream of pain, she stopped crying.
The boys ran away.
And I did my first performance with a broken arm.

The end......but not really.

I could tell a hundred tales of times when I've rushed in to defend someone, to give safe harbour, to take a punch for someone else, to stand guard over them while they pack what they own in a box, kicked out of their home by a partner - you can't look at the world where this happens, and not feel something. And not continue to do something about it.
The one thing all of these events have in common is my 'scream' - it stops everyone in their tracks, it makes them stop and think, it makes them reconsider their actions - and what they will do next. Whether it's an actual scream, of rage, defiance, or the expression on my face, or a single word - it all has the same effect.
People have reached a point where they're unwilling to get involved in domestic violence now, until the person concerned has made the move out - not surprising, they're usually the first person to defend the rights of their abuser, and they usually keep going back to them.
Notice I say person - women aren't the only ones to get hurt.

It's not simple, and it's not easy for someone to walk away from that situation. They return and repeat for a multitude of reasons that aren't easily standardized and catalogued like a shopping list in a psych manual. No one is a textbook profile, because no one is a flat sheet of paper with typing on it. It's complex, and emotional, and terrifying, and too complicated to become a theoretical construct. So I make it simple - I jump in, 'scream' and stop everything. When a relationship has gone that far, it's personal, it's so personal that another person interrupting the movie is a shock. The violence is as intimate as making love - imagine someone jumping into your bed and yelling 'HEY!' - talk about a mood killer.

I had coffee with someone with a black eye today. The moment to jump in and scream was over, gone, I wasn't there. So we talked. And I realized something today that I already knew but hadn't really used before - it's the intimacy that connects people to these situations. Take away all the constructs and the policies and the philosophies that civilization has created, and come back to the human level - it's intimacy. Something that you can't share with anyone but that special someone. And often as not, it's a lack of intimate acceptance of the self that drives a person to look for that in someone else. The first relationship is with the self, it's where all other relationships begin. As soon as you deliver that possibility to a person, they see fulfillment in their grasp - a way to achieve what they want without needing the circumstances to reflect that want. As soon as they see it - they're already saving themselves.
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