Having worked away all week The Wonderful Man is at home tonight, but sleeping on another floor far enough away from me so that I don’t disturb him; he’s currently working extremely long hours and looked exhausted earlier.
My house has a lighted porch so I can easily see anyone who is outside, it also has sturdy locks and I have mobile numbers for the local police and PCSOs in my phone.
Just before 10.30pm I heard a commotion directly outside my house. It sounded like teenagers, but I could also hear what sounded like a drunken older man. There was some shouting and then I heard a girl start to scream, followed by sobbing. I looked out of my window and saw that the sobbing girl was being comforted by a lad inside my gateway, whilst a group of belligerent sounding males were having a shoving and shouting match inside my neighbour’s gate. I could hear the girl sobbing and saying over and over “it really hurts”.
So I put on my dressing gown, marched down my path, took a hold of the girls hand and told her to come inside with me so that I could help - then marched her into the house, along with the boyfriend, and locked the door.
She had been with a group of friends and had fallen out with her boyfriend, so she had walked to the bus stop (opposite my house) and was going home. An older man, who is a belligerent alcoholic (known to her and by reputation also known to me) accosted her and began to pester her and wouldn’t go away. Her friends caught up with her and they all ended up rowing with the man. Some pushing and shoving took place and the girl (17) ended up on the ground, banging her knee very badly in the process.
We had a chat and I insisted she call her mother to come and collect her as the fracas was still going on outside. Her mother has now driven her home and the others have dispersed.
Yesterday I would simply have called the police, because I was home alone and too ill to have coped. My reasoning for not doing so tonight is that I felt it was not safe to leave the girl in harm’s way when I know exactly how few police are available here in an emergency and that it would be a minimum of 20 or 30 minutes before they would arrive.
Tomorrow I will have to fess up to The Wonderful Man (who slept through it all) and I’d like to be prepared for what he might say. It’s true that I’m pretty well exhausted now, but I expect (hope) I will have recovered by the morning. So, was it an unreasonable response on my part? Please imagine it was your daughter/granddaughter before you respond.
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