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?

bkgirl Sun 16-Jun-13 15:12:57

Just saw update. I do like Nigella, poor thing.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 15:28:29

I would have (I THINK) but I am very gobby indeed.

lostproperty Sun 16-Jun-13 15:29:43

Yes I would have.

delboysfileofax Sun 16-Jun-13 15:30:54

Fuck No. It normally results in them both turning on you.

Probably not. Because that would only serve to make me feel better and do jack to help her. If they turned on me then the story would have been about a member of the public disturbing the celebrity couple and not about the violence that took place towards her. No way would she have been able to side with me or thank me. She would probably be waiting for the punishment at home.

Southeastdweller Sun 16-Jun-13 15:40:37

I'm ashamed to say no, for the reasons wheresmy says. Also, Saatchi is a powerful man, well-connected...I'd be fearful of any nasty repercussions.

(Of course that doesn't mean I wouldn't have cared, would have wanted to go give her a hug or squeeze her hand just to let her know someone cared. But ultimately safety wise.... )

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 15:44:28

Nasty repercussions! He was just a guy in a restaurant THROTTLING his wife!

I think he is the one who should have thought of repercussions. My rather grand grandmother would have hit him with her umbrella and damn the repercussions.

Imagine just taking photos and doing nothing hmm

But if the repercussions were him being angry pissed off and taking it out on her when they got home how would that have helped?

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 15:49:02

Well a cooling off period in the hands of the police would have helped him? There is no way I would let some guy strangle and not intervene in case he got angry at home. Seriously. If he is going for her throat in public he's going to hurt her at home anyway unless someone (anyone?) calls him out.

Morgause Sun 16-Jun-13 15:52:09

I'd have phoned the police and also spoken to her - maybe said, "Are you ok?" I have before in a similar situation.

NoRainNoRainbow Sun 16-Jun-13 15:52:21

No I wouldn't.

I learnt the hard way though, I used to work in a restaurant, husband and wife are arguing, he leans across and slaps her, I go up all guns blazing (was about 18 and 5'2" and about 7st) tell him to get out, the wife turns on me, how dare you embarress my husband, who do you think you are, he sat there smirking.

They finished their meal and he started on her outside the restaurant....saying you just wait til we get home you made a scene etc etc.

Anecdotal yes, but makes me think of the repercussions for the woman.

NoRainNoRainbow Sun 16-Jun-13 15:53:01

But YY to calling the police, giving them the CCTV and asking if she was ok.

All he had to do was say that we were disturbing him and have us thrown out diverting all the attention on to that rather than gathering evidence to genuinely help her.

He's a millionaire who can buy his way out if anything. It would have been her that got the blame of be was arrested and taken it out on her at home sad

Dackyduddles Sun 16-Jun-13 15:57:20

I definitely would have. I have before on tube. Some young black guy and white guy aged about 18-20 were kicking an elderly couple in the corridor of a tube line. I yanked one back by the neck and shouted what the hell are you doing?! Tbf they were so surprised they just glared at me then scarpered. Tbh I was somewhat surprised myself. Lovely couple looked shell shocked.

Ill step in because I like to think someone would for me too. I think it's the honourable thing to do. (Damn you you decent upbringing!)

CuttedUpPear Sun 16-Jun-13 15:59:14

I would.

A random event with strangers who won't meet again is different to a senario where the victim has to go home with the attacker.

Casmama Sun 16-Jun-13 15:59:55

I think this thread is in pretty poor taste. It appears to have been a pretty horrendous experience for her and a thread of people speculating over whether or not they would have been a hero if they were there is vile.

yamsareyammy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:00:36

lots of details from refuge on here.

It basically seems to be saying, no dont intervene. That is dangerous both for yourself and for her.

bkgirl Sun 16-Jun-13 16:05:50

LOL Dacky.I hope I would have stepped in myself, probably wouldn't have been able to stop myself. Though as other posters have said, it may only mean that the poor person getting hurt will get it worse at home.

In a way, the best thing WAS to take pics - irrefutable proof.

Just goes to show (again) domestic violence happens in all kinds of households. I wonder did he try this on his previous wives, if so they must have been pretty intimidated. Scary. Nigella wouldn't be a pushover but she really seemed frightened. sad

SirChenjin Sun 16-Jun-13 16:06:40

Wouldn't have intervened (because DH would have stopped me, being infinitely more sensible and less feisty than I am) because I think it might have made it worse for Nigella, but I would have definitely called the police, and captured images on my phone if possible without making the situation worse.

I'm at a loss at to understand why none of the witnesses called the police at the time confused

noddyholder Sun 16-Jun-13 16:07:47


MrsDeVere Sun 16-Jun-13 16:11:33

Just as many people do not intervene because they are too stunned to, many intervene because it is instinctive.

I tend to say something if I see something untoward happening. I have been much more likely to as I have got older and since I lost my DD.
A mix of nihilism and age related assertiveness maybe?

I am pretty sure i would of in this case but since reading the opinions of DV victims and the links I now think I would have to do something else. Like slip her the number of WA or something.

I am a bit dismayed at the amount of sneering on these threads about people who feel they would/have helped victims.

There is a very nasty slant to these posts where they want to make it all about the poster wanting to feel good about themselves.

When I have intervened it has been fuck all to do with me, its about what is going on in front of me and wanting it to stop.

Sometimes it takes a OI! or other times its takes a more 'is there anything I can do to help?'

A man with LDs was hit in the head with a rock by teenagers whilst I was driving past. Damn right I intervened. It was a man, with LD, being hit, with a rock.

Didn't feel good about myself. I felt sick and angry and shaken up for days.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 16:11:40

Who is speculating they would have been a hero?

But! Is hurting women in public ok now if you are rich? How far would it had to go before some of you intervened? Seriously. I want to know.

Am appalled to be honest. I can't think of anyone I know who would not have got in the way of a man strangling his wife and if that's poor taste so be it.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 16-Jun-13 16:13:26

I have been wondering if she has helped to get this out there. He's a very powerful man and if will do that to her, what sort of threats would he be making as well? But if it's in the public eye she's safer isn't she? I would certainly be doing that if I were her. I bet she's got some powerful friends of her own.

As for the OP, yes, I think I probably would have. Because I am very nosy and I can't not say things if I see injustice or abuse. The only time I didn't was when a woman was screaming at her child in the street and when she caught my eye said she would "rip my fucking face off if I had anything to say to her". I was with my own dc and worried about what would happen to them. Luckily some men stepped in and started having a go at her and I just hustled dc away.

Deffodil Sun 16-Jun-13 16:13:51

Someone on another thread suggested that he may have been feeling her glands,or something. You'd think that her first instinct would be to prise his fingers off,not to hold his other handconfused

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 16-Jun-13 16:14:15

Yep I would have- I've intervened in the past when some teenagers were starting to get violent with a disabled lady and her children (what kind of world is this?!)

Morgause Sun 16-Jun-13 16:15:02

I noticed nothing was mentioned in the Sunday papers reviews on the radio or on TV.

Tortington Sun 16-Jun-13 16:15:15

no, becuase as someone else said further up, they both turn on you. she out of embarrassment and he out of anger.

however dh would have punched his lights out

Casmama Sun 16-Jun-13 16:16:22

By all means have a discussion about the pros and cons of stepping in when you witness violence but to use this specific situation is unnecessary. Ophelia, I don't believe that you can KNOW how you or everyone else that you know would react.

bkgirl Sun 16-Jun-13 16:18:33

Casmama, the thread was actually directed about how the public responded. I frankly couldn't understand it although I think I do now.I don't think censorship helps, the fact it was in the papers may have encouraged her to help herself.

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 16-Jun-13 16:20:22

Actually thinking a out this again if I've got my dd with me and something like this happens then probably not if just me then yes

AdoraBell Sun 16-Jun-13 16:20:40

Normaly I would be concerned about him attacking her at home because of me intervining, but Nigella Lawson has the financial ability to have walked away from the restaurant and never looked back. So I might have gently reminded her that she doesn't have to put up with it.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 16-Jun-13 16:21:54


My ex intervened in such a situation although was in a pub and ended up getting his face slashed.

I'd perhaps report afterwards though to the non emergency police number.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 16:22:29

Casmama I have intervened numerous times when people have been violent to women in public, thanks. It's unacceptable and people should not stand for it or take photos like lemons on the sidelines.

Casmama Sun 16-Jun-13 16:25:50

Fair enough Ophelia. For what it's worth I entirely agree with your sentiments but there is something about this thread that makes me really uncomfortable. However, as I am unable to articulate what it is,I'll leave it be.

chocoluvva Sun 16-Jun-13 16:26:46

I think my instinct would be to leap up and intervene. But it's impossible to know what you'd do if you haven't been in that situation before. I can imagine myself just sitting there in shocked horror or disbelief.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 16-Jun-13 16:27:14

I think its easier to intervene if its a stranger being vile than when its clearly a DV situation.

I think the best thing to do is to ring the non-emergency police number - I can't see how intervening would make things better and it could potentially make things a lot worse for the victim who then goes home with him.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 16-Jun-13 16:28:40

I also think in that situation because they are famous people would be even less likely to intervene because there would be more disbelief.

I bet there have been rumours for a long time about CS, hence, the press just biding their time till they got a photo.

I feel very sorry indeed for Nigella but suspect that's the last thing she wants.

Mistyshore Sun 16-Jun-13 16:29:08

I was being sworn at by abusive ex and a stranger intervened. He was told to fuck off too but it helped to make me realise that the relationship I was in wasn't normal. It's surprising how you forget what is reasonable when the abuse creeps up. I didn't get out right away but his gesture helped when I did finally LTB.

I look back and thank that lovely man on a street in New York (of all places)! His words were, "Sir, you don't talk to a lady like that" - not earth shattering words but kind, brave words from a man who doesn't know how much he helped me.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Sun 16-Jun-13 16:29:46

Casmama I think it's the voyeuristic aspect of it - someone's personal tragedy played out for all of us to discuss hmm

cory Sun 16-Jun-13 16:30:20

I have intervened in the past, but would be more worried about doing so if, as another poster said, the victim had to go home with the attacker afterwards.

ZZZenagain Sun 16-Jun-13 16:33:54

I can't believe most people would simply continue with their meals whilst a woman is being choked or in any way obviously physically hurt at a nearby table. If so, that is very odd behaviour in my book.

What strikes me about this particular situation is that if a man is going to be violent towards his celebrity wife in a public arena such as a restaurant, what on earth is going on in the home?

yamsareyammy Sun 16-Jun-13 16:49:35

The link I posted was from womens aid, and about domestic violence, as in Nigella's situation.

That is a different situation from say a disabled man getting set upon.

gaggiagirl Sun 16-Jun-13 17:02:01

I really don't know what I would do so I can't even guess,but if my DP was there he would have torn the bastard a new arse hole.

LoopyLooplaHoop Sun 16-Jun-13 17:14:13

I'm sure it may not help, but I can't imagine I would have sat and watched.

But never mind that, let's just hope she's OK

Dackyduddles Sun 16-Jun-13 17:27:57

Too many people now sit back to let "someone" else do "something". From public to professional bodies. It is not good enough. You might not always be able to speak up for the moments that happen out of your line of sight but if the situation is in front of you then I believe you should stand up and say "no this behaviour is not acceptable".

Perhaps the pap in his own way has done this. Unsure those in the restaurant can say same unless they present themselves as witnesses to police.

I hope nigellas friends and family now look after her.

TSSDNCOP Sun 16-Jun-13 17:33:17

I would have. I've done it before.

Ponyofdoom Sun 16-Jun-13 23:32:20

100% agree with Mistyshore, when I was in an abusive relationship you start to normalise it, someone saying something does help you realise that its not normal nor OK. Yes it might mean the victim does get more abuse afterwards but I think overall it helps them to escape; though I am far from an expert and would be interested in more professional guidance. I think its right and moral to intervene and that those posters who have done so are brave.

hackmum Mon 17-Jun-13 09:36:22

I have no idea what I would have done. I like to think I'd have intervened, but I don't know. I also don't know if it makes a difference if it's a famous person - that perhaps you feel more embarrassed about intervening.

I think the photographer must have been some distance away with a long lens - if he'd been standing next to them, Saatchi would hardly have continued attacking his wife. I imagine there are some photographers who follow Nigella around all the time and others who hang around celebrity restaurants in the hope of getting an interesting photo. So from their point of view, it wasn't a case of they just happened to be there, it was a case of waiting until they got the story they were looking for.

I did wonder in the People story how they got the reactions from the fellow diners. Did they have a reporter there too? Or did they just make the quotes up?

Januarymadness Mon 17-Jun-13 09:42:40

If I had time to think and consider it properly I would call the police and be prepared to give a witness statement.

I have, however ended up in the middle of 2 men who were starting to kick off and calming them down. It was instinctive and only half way through did I think to myself "fuck this is a silly place to be"

bkgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 09:48:57

Ponyofdoom - I am glad you used the past tense! Well done for getting out of it, no doubt it took great strength. Personally speaking, it's good to get the opinion of people with experience and not just "experts". Thank you.

mignonette Mon 17-Jun-13 09:49:30

I have intervened in public and that triggered others in the vicinity to intervene too. I also have had to to break up situations like this in my job either between patients or sometimes patients and their relatives or when they attack staff.

I could not do nothing if I saw a human attack somebody in this manner. I will probably get myself stabbed one of these days as I always intervene if the situation warrants it. I am tiny BTW....However the photographer has intervened- the power of these photographs is immense. I like to think Nigella will not be the only person experiencing this type of aggression who will act to help themselves as a result of their being taken and published.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 09:54:33

i'd be more likely, in that exact situation, to get a member of staff to go up to them i think. i'd probably also have called the cops to say i'd witnessed an assault, in case they needed back-up for a court case. whoever took the photos did her a HUGE favour imo, much more than some have-a-go-hero interfering at the time.

SirChenjin Mon 17-Jun-13 10:10:04

I wonder if the other diners in the restaurant feared a legal backlash from CS? Can you give an anonymous statement in these cases? (not that I'm justifying the lack of calls to the police whilst it was going on, I'm not, I'm just trying to imagine why so many people turned the other cheek)

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 10:37:47

i dunno. scott's of mayfair... who goes there? probably wealthy tourists and people who don't tend to give much of a fuck about their fellow humans. (which is how they are rich enough to lunch there in the first place). the elite lets a lot of things happen in the name of not rocking their silk-lined boats.

SirChenjin Mon 17-Jun-13 11:37:35

Agree. The whole thing is very seedy.

SirChenjin Mon 17-Jun-13 11:38:00

The whole thing as in no-one doing anything about it, I mean.

MarshaBrady Mon 17-Jun-13 11:41:24

Pap has camera trained on them probably more likely to even see it than other diners. No idea where they were behind a vine or something out of view.

As an aside imagine being in those shots because you intervened.

Those shots are far more effective than a slanging match.

SirChenjin Mon 17-Jun-13 11:44:31

I don't mean physically intervene - no-one called the police as it was going on, that's what I find really odd.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 11:52:02

well it's fairly benign, in a fucked up way, just slowly pressing on someone's throat. and our culture allows for it all the time, just look at all the women on the The Fall thread... totally undisturbed by extended scenes of torture in the name of entertainment.

MarshaBrady Mon 17-Jun-13 12:16:29

There'd be an element of wtf that's CS, did I see that. With a frozen pic it's easier to decipher.

AnyFucker Mon 17-Jun-13 12:27:07

Aitch, that is an interesting link re. the voyeurism involved in a tv programme like The Fall. I posted early on that thread after the 1st episode, then stopped watching it as I found the spurious shots of women being sexually tortured was outside of the realms of what I call "entertainment"

I worry the normalisation of male on female violence promotes the idea of "what goes on between couples is their own business" and stops outsiders from intervening in a timely fashion

I honestly have no idea. I suspect not.

WhT the hell is tbe fall?

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:30:59

totally. i found The Fall disturbing enough, but that thread was more so.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:31:24

tv programme, stealth, like anyfucker just said.

SirChenjin Mon 17-Jun-13 12:32:30

I've never seen The Fall but it sounds hideous. Do I want to link to that other thread, or is it best left alone?

Yes but whst sort of programme shows torture. Off to google, or maybe not

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:35:41

slick, empty drama masquerading as 'quality' thanks to excellent production values and cast. it's not worth watching imo, or reading about. it's all just part of this ongoing problem of normalising violence against women. (even though lead detective was 'strong' woman, albeit a clear mansplanation of strong womanhood rather than a fleshed out character).

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 12:37:21

loads of clever people liked it, btw. which was shocking to me but does in some way begin to explain the whole 'don't make too much of it' line.
talking of which, roy greenslade just fell off my christmas card list.

AnyFucker Mon 17-Jun-13 12:42:13

Greenslade has used this to have a go at a Redtop publication, he didn't give a shit about what the existence of the pictures might actually mean

Obnoxious, abuse-apologist man

bkgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 12:47:05

I'm not sure. I am the type to intervene and pre kids I stopped a fight on a London bus. I've done it recently to help an old woman who was being fleeced by some con artists. I somehow knew though I'd be in no danger and I was right. They walked off almost as soon as I approached them. The adrenalin was pumping and I made a right scene shouting after them. I'm not sure I would have done if it was a violent assault as I had my DCs with me. Those women in woolwich were incredible.

DH gets cross with me starring at people being shitty to their kids.

I would also worry my involvement would mean I'd put Nigella in a worse situation though l can see myself calling 999 to report an assault.

Charles Saatchi says images of him grasping his wife by the neck show a "playful tiff".

Playful my arse!. This is about power and control. If he can do this in public what is he like at home?.

I would have called the police to report this assault. Abuse goes across all classes and creeds, it is no respecter of class or culture.

yamsareyammy Mon 17-Jun-13 13:17:42

A playful tiff!
I would hate to see his "I'm annoyed with you".

Fortunately not all media commentators are like that twit from the Grauniad:-

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Mon 17-Jun-13 13:39:15

that picture makes me so sad, she looks so ashamed.

polyhymnia Mon 17-Jun-13 14:01:34

Not my idea of a 'playful tiff'! His trying to 'spin' the incident has backfired I think.

yamsareyammy Mon 17-Jun-13 14:44:45

ooh, can anyone join in with the "playing"? hmm

AnyFucker Mon 17-Jun-13 14:48:30

Yes, I'd like to playfully put my hands around the delightful Mr Saatchi's neck

I expect he wouldn't like it very much though. Can't think why.

Playful tiff - utter bollocks, IMHO, Mr S.

humptynumptyfall Mon 17-Jun-13 21:08:28

Yes I would of intervened but in a very indirect way as in saying to my husband loudly 'oooo nigela lawson remember that recipe I made of hers' in thr hope it would make him realise they are being watched

bkgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 23:29:51

Charles Saatchi allegedly has accepted a caution...if so interesting because he must have admitted it and she must have agreed with the caution (I think)

bkgirl Mon 17-Jun-13 23:30:12

Charles Saatchi allegedly has accepted a caution...if so interesting because he must have admitted it and she must have agreed with the caution (I think)

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 17-Jun-13 23:30:44

Yes I would have and the reason I know this is I've actually had to stop a man straggling the woman he was with and another trying to glass the one he was with. Used to work in a nightclub and both of these things happened in front of a busy bar, surrounded by lots of people. The first guy was properly strangling her though and if I hadn't have stopped him he might of actually succeeded.

Can't quite believe that none of the staff at the restaurant saw anything. That is just as much bollocks as smarmy saachis story.

And now this (via the BBC news website) from him:-

He said he voluntarily went to a police station to accept the caution as "it was better than the alternative of this hanging over all of us for months".

Words fail me.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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 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.

Good for you Mrs DVere.

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.

None of it is your fault.

And how could you watch that without shouting?

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Yeah and DV is no-one's business hmm

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 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.

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?

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.

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.

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):

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 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 19:56:09

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

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