I succumbed to click-bait the other day, opening an article on Distractify titled, "Police Share Disturbing 'Stair Of Knives' Found At Home Of Domestic Abuse Victim." I couldn't imagine what a 'star of knives' would be. The picture in the article says it all, though; a homely set of stairs with chipped white paint -- and a sharp kitchen knife, each a good 10-12 inches long, impaled on each side of every step. Apparently the photo was taken by an officer who responded to a domestic assault call. The male of the couple was arrested.
It really does look like something out of a horror movie.
Even more horrible than the picture, though, is one of the comments in the article:
"Took true courage. Scary unreal scene - Alfred Hitchcock film. Hope female appreciative."
Look at that again: Hope female appreciative.
Hope female appreciative.
Not: "hope female is alive", or "hope female is safe", or "hope female gets the help she needs to break free of this relationship". Not a wish for the safety and health of the woman. No: hope she appreciates what the police did.
How heartless does one have to be to say that?
We cannot even begin to imagine what this woman may have endured with her abuser. And to expect her to feel a certain way after what was no doubt a desperate and frightening encounter with her abuser and police is, frankly, appalling.
How much do we, as a society, expect from women?
We already blame them for staying. Why didn't she leave?
(Here's an article on why leaving is not that simple, if you are interested.)
And then we have the nerve to expect gratitude.
(And still, we wonder why victims do not always report domestic violence. )
How about we open our hearts and our eyes and see the complexities and the dangers, and reach out -- not because we will receive appreciation from a victim, but because it is the right thing to do.
Photo found here: