Nigella. Would you have intervened?

(114 Posts)
bkgirl Sun 16-Jun-13 15:10:10

So sorry for Nigella. Shocked no-one intervened. Was it because they were famous?

May be totally wrong but given his age could it be dementia? Could that explain her reaction?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2342414/Nigella-Lawson-choked-husband-Charles-Saatchi-pictures-spark-outrage.html

wordyBird Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:09

Violence makes everything go out of the window, MrsDeVere. You have to act in the moment, and every second is a matter of judgment.

I know you weren't thinking of how great you were - no real person would. In any case, I saw your post on the Chat board, where you said you felt shaken up. You weren't patting yourself on the back in any way. You felt shocked, as anyone would. brew

MrsDeVere Sun 23-Jun-13 19:29:57

Thank you wordy
I want to make it clear though, because there have been quite a few comments on these threads, that I wasn't thinking about how great I was.

I was on my own with the DCs in the house. I didn't think about how brilliant I was being.

I just saw a person being attacked and it getting worse and she kept coming back and couldn't seem to disengage with the man and he was getting madder and madder.

I wish none of it had happened. The only good I think I may have done was to stop it getting worse at that moment and maybe planted the seed that she deserves more. He may also think twice about doing it in a public place thus limiting his opportunities a tiny bit.

It was bloody horrible and I have seen loads of fights. I used to work in A&E fgs!

I totally understand the reasoning behind the 'don't directly intervene, call for help and keep quiet'.
I had read all these threads just days before and had thought I had learnt something for the future.

Then it happens in front of you and it all goes out the window TBH.

I am still furious at my neighbours.

wordyBird Sun 23-Jun-13 19:16:01

Most people think that if they are attacked in public, people will rush to help.

But they don't. And you're not the only one who's found herself in this position, MrsDeVere (link, if interested): www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/21/domestic-violence-global-disease-not-powerless

There are complex reasons behind this, not all of which are to do with indifference - sometimes it's uncertainty, sometimes fear, sometimes fear of doing the wrong thing.

But if you're being attacked, any attempt to help NOW is what you want. Anything. Even acknowledgment that you've been seen, and somebody actually cares, is better than the terrifying, lonely experience of trying to fend off assault with no hope of help from anyone.

I think you deserve recognition for what you did, MrsDeVere. You stopped the assault. You made a difference.

MrsDeVere Sun 23-Jun-13 18:33:06

queen my house is set around an oval 'green'.
Every one of those 50 or so houses would have a grandstand view of what was going on outside last week.
NOT ONE person came out apart from me.
The house the woman lives in has at least 6 young men living in it.

No one apart from me came out and told him to stop hurting her.

This is why we end up doubting ourselves.

QueenofWhispers Sun 23-Jun-13 18:18:07

I had a neighbour whose screams still ring in my nightmares. We had our sons at the same time. Every night I could hear him dragging her from one side of the flat to the other, while their baby cried and she banged her against walls. I called the porters, I called the police--eventually everyone thought I was the crazy one. He used to stick the baby in the stairwell of the trash chute sometimes when he wouldn't stop crying.

I left leaflets for her to get help; took over a person who spoke her native language...but she refused to do anything. Every night she screamed, and hollered and every night I had to put up with the noise. It stopped being about violence and more about the disturbance. The only people who would help me were noise control. After 37 (consecutive) reports the council asked them to leave. I felt really bad.

What made this really horrible for me though, was that there were 4 floors of residents who could hear her scream every night for two years and I was the only one complaining.

Scott's staff were in the best position to go over and ask if everything was OK without inflaming the situation, it's shameful that they didn't as this went on for 27 minutes, you'd expect some attention from waiting staff after half an hour in a restaurant like that,wouldn't you?

MrsDeVere Sun 23-Jun-13 18:07:05

But what is the advice when someone is getting their head kicked in right in front of you?

I just wanted it to stop before it got even worse. If I had been thinking clearly I would have hid behind the door and just called the police
But I am not even sure they would have got here in time to prevent her being brain damaged or being run over.

I'll never know now though. Looking back I wish I had just called them the moment I saw something odd. But by the time my brain had processed what was going on it had already escalated.

Interesting article today in my paper, pointing out that direct intervention can make things worse.

However, indirect methods such as, in a restaurant case, following the victim into the Ladies and saying "Are you ok?" gives her an opportunity to ask for help, or cry, and acknowledges that what's going on wasn't normal.

Other suggestions included going across to the table for another contrived reason such as borrowing the salt cellar or a spare chair, to remind them that they are in a public place being watched.

And of course using your cameraphone to take footage which you submit to the police, who can charge/initiate proceedings even without the victim's statement.

MrsDeVere Sun 23-Jun-13 13:17:13

Yeah and DV is no-one's business hmm

Januarymadness Sun 23-Jun-13 12:18:25

Where on earth did you get "she is bigger than him" from?

zoraqueenofzeep Sat 22-Jun-13 19:32:22

I mind my own business when couples argue, if there was violence I wouldn't intervene because violent people will always have a violent reaction, they will either target the person trying to intervene (often so will the 'victim' so unless you're prepared and able to fight both of them off, best to stay out of other peoples domestics) or dole out a far more severe physical punishment to the victim when they get home.

If someone looked like they risked serious injury I'd call the cops. In the Nigella case, I would have kept my nose out of it. She's bigger than him, she would defend herself if she genuinely feared for her safety or at least alerted for attention, she obviously didn't want others interfering and that's her business.

wordyBird Thu 20-Jun-13 22:55:24

You did the right thing mrsdevere. If you're being attacked in the street, any help of any sort is all you want.
Mostly, people just run away or avert their eyes. You were brave in doing what was right.

edam Thu 20-Jun-13 22:47:28

Yes, MrsDV, you did the right thing there and then in the middle of the situation. How could you leave her to be battered?

Btw, the police don't always need the victim's cooperation, so it may not be the end of the matter. (As per Nigella - she seems not to have made a formal complaint, but he still got a caution.) Hopefully.

MrsDeVere Thu 20-Jun-13 22:42:24

Thanks sauce.
Its only reading the links on these threads that make me doubt it.
It felt right at the time but you know what its like when you do it over in your head smile

None of it is your fault.

And how could you watch that without shouting?

MrsDeVere Thu 20-Jun-13 21:58:51

But was it? Honestly?

I don't know now. Maybe if I had called the police without shouting at him they would have got to him and arrested him.

Instead of him doing a runner and now knowing that it was me that called the police.

She isn't going to make a statement now. So he has got away with it.
That could be my fault.

Good for you Mrs DVere.

MrsDeVere Thu 20-Jun-13 21:35:27

I just did.
It was only after that I thought of this thread and people saying you shouldn't and it could make it worse.

But this woman was getting battered outside my house. I did the things suggested...call the police and tell her about WA (later when I saw her) but in the meantime she was being assaulted. So I shouted at him to stop and leave her alone.

It didn't occur to me (even after reading these threads all week) at the time to just call the police and watch from behind the curtains.

edam Tue 18-Jun-13 17:03:34

I tried to intervene once. Late night, walking home from tube, vaguely aware a couple on the other side of the street arguing - then realised, as I passed them, that they were grappling and he was kicking her. I hesitated, but decided to Do Something and ran over to their side of the road, asking her if she was OK.

He let go - well, they let go of each other, I couldn't quite see who had grabbed who first. But he was bigger and stronger. Became apparent they were both drunk.

I asked her again if I could do anything or call anyone but she insisted not. He'd shambled off down the street by now. I made a final attempt to persuade her to let me get some sort of help, and she said 'He's my husband, he's my curse' and walked off. (In a strong Irish accent - this may have been before Ireland legalised divorce, can't remember quite when that happened.)

Then 200 yards further down I heard shouting and realised they'd caught up with each other, but clearly saw this time she attacked him so I decided to leave them to it...

tungthai Tue 18-Jun-13 16:47:09

No I would not intervene because past experience (not my relationship) tells me that an outsider will make the situation worse. If he had been knocking the living daylight out of her or the violence continued I would intervene.

Oblongata Tue 18-Jun-13 16:46:56

I have intervened before (friend and her boyfriend, him hitting her head off a wall sad she refused to speak to me for a week sad she was 17, I hope she did better tbh).

But in that situation, I think to be very honest I would have been completely flummoxed by seeing two famous people in a very incongruous situation and would not have immediately been able to know what to do.

onedomesticgoddess Tue 18-Jun-13 16:40:49

I've read that if women intervene they have a better chance of calming things down, against a guy perpetrating violence.

It's really hard to say what you would have done unless you were there. If Nigella had called for help, or he had really hurt her so she couldn't breathe, then yes. I might have asked her , gently, if she was okay. I would not have confronted him.

I should imagine that the staff have been told that they are not say anything, the owners of the restaurant wanting to be seen to be totally discreet to their customers. Scotts probably see it as business first, assualt second.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 18-Jun-13 16:24:03

It could be but having worked in places like that, it just find it highly unlikely.

yamsareyammy Tue 18-Jun-13 16:14:23

Jilted. I could be wrong, but from what I saw of pictures, the out in the street bit wwhere they were sitting on the pavement is outside the restaurant. And to go back indoors, a waiter comes outside, to do whatever and then disappears through a door to go back inside again.
So it is quite likely that no staff saw what happened.

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