Friends, Lovers or Duty?
Domestic Abuse Cycle
“More than 1 in 4 women and more than 1 in 7 men in the United States has experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during their lifetime.”
Dan went into his apartment after working the nightshift as a police officer in Chicago and was so tired he didn’t even eat. He just undressed before falling into bed.
He woke up about 4 PM. He put some coffee on while he jumped in the shower. Then, he fried some bacon and made some fried eggs.
He met his partner, Sam, while walking into the precinct just before they headed out for their shift.
“Hey Sam, How are you doing tonight?”
“Doing good. How about you?”
“Nothing new in my boring life. How are the wife and kids?”
“Everyone is well. Sam Jr. got a 100 on his science test.”
“That’s great. It must be nice to have a family waiting at home.”
“You need to find a wife. I mean you are fairly good looking and 6’2”.
“What do you mean fairly good looking?” Dan said as he laughed.
That night they arrested Tom Brennan, at 2 AM, a man who abused his wife after breaking into her home. She had a restraining order against him, but obviously that didn’t stop him. They called an ambulance for Julie Brennan as she was unconscious when they arrived.”
Meeting Julie Brennan
When the officers got through with their shift, Dan decided to head to the hospital to check on the abused wife.
He was still in his uniform when he checked with the nurse and was told he could go in to see Julie Brennan if she was awake.
He stuck his head in the door and said “Can I come in for a minute?”
She looked up at him and nodded her head yes. He noted her beautiful blue eyes, even though the left eye was blackened, and he could see bruises on her arms. She was a petite woman with beautiful light brown curly hair.
“Mrs. Brennon, I just thought I would stop in and check on you.”
“That’s very nice of you.” She looked up at this tall man in his police uniform with a serious face.
“When did you wake up Mrs. Brennan?”
“In the ambulance, but I don’t know how long I was out. I guess a neighbor heard something because I don’t remember calling 911.”
“I don’t mean to get into your private affairs, but do you have a safe place to stay?” Dan asked.
She got teary eyed and said, “We have a court date for our divorce in two days. That’s why my husband is going nuts again. We have been separated for almost a year. I’m sorry, officer, please sit down.”
“I understand,” Dan said softly. “But, you didn’t answer my question.”
“Oh, it's a problem. I can’t go to my parent’s house, because Tom has threatened to burn their house down if I go there. My brother lives 1200 miles away, and he doesn’t know about the abuse, only the divorce. He would beat my husband to a pulp if he knew.
Anyway, I may go to a hotel or possibly to the Safe Harbor home for women if I need to, but I need to go back to work soon also.
“You may miss a day or two until you are discharged from the hospital. At least you have some options, but your husband probably made bail already. I would like to think you are safe."
“Thank you ahh, what is your name?”
“Officer Dan Stevens. And, you are very welcome. I am going to let you get some rest. Here is my card, and I am writing my cell phone number on the back. You can call me if your have questions or need help.”
Julie smiled slightly saying, “I appreciate that. I will be here at least one more day while they determine if I have a concussion.”
Dan nodded and walked out the door. He stopped for breakfast before he went home to sleep.
That night at work he related his visit with Julie Brennan to Sam.
“I know you have a soft spot for abused women and kids, but a hospital visit?”
“I just felt so bad for this woman, and I wanted to see if she woke up. Thank goodness she woke in the ambulance.”
“If you want my advice, I would say don’t get too involved,” said Sam.
Getting to Know Each Other
The night went smoothly with just a couple of criminal arrests. When Dan got off work he decided to go check on Julie Brennan again. He knew he probably shouldn’t get involved as Sam suggested, but he felt protective of this woman.
When he neared her room he still asked the nurse about visiting, and she gave her okay. Dan stuck his head in again and saw Julie sitting up in bed.
“Can I come in?” Dan asked while smiling, and Julie’s face seemed to light up.
Julie said, “Of course.”
“How are your today Mrs. Brennan?”
“Much better,” she replied. “And, please call me Julie.”
“Okay Julie. Just call me Dan. Are you being discharged today?”
“Yes, and I think I will check into a hotel just to be safe. I do need to get some clothes and my car, of course.”
“Do you want me to take you to get your car and your clothes?”
“I hate to ask you to take your time to help me, but if it is not inconvenient I would appreciate your help.”
“What time will you be discharged? I know your husband was released, but do you think he will be at work?”
“They told me I will be discharged by 9:00. And yes, he should be at work today, but he drinks so much I don't know.”
“I’ll wait for you to be discharged and take you home.”
“Okay, I have all my paperwork, and they insist I leave in a wheelchair, which will be here any time.”
When they arrived at Julie’s home she thanked Dan for the ride, and he left to go home and get some sleep.
She quickly gathered some clothes together and packed a conservative blue dress for court. She was in her car and headed to find a hotel in a short amount of time.
The next day Tom was in court, but the judge noted Julie's black eye. He gave Julie and a reasonable amount of alimony. He also gave Tom a stern warning about stalking Julie or ever hurting her again.
Julie hurried out of court to avoid Tom. She called a locksmith to change the locks on the house again. He arrived about noon. She finally thought the drama was over with Tom, but she still felt sad.
She put clothes away and spent some time cleaning the house. By the end of the afternoon she felt lonely and too emotional. She finally decided to call Dan.
“Hi Julie. How did court go today?”
“Very well actually. The judge warned my husband about the restraining order. If he violates it again he will be looking at more jail time.”
“I am glad everything went well. Are you okay?”
“I am. This divorce has been coming for quite a while. I should have divorced him a long time ago, and it has been a couple of rough days”
“How would you like to go out for just a friendly dinner tonight?”
“I would love to.”
They went to dinner and found they both read books by the same authors. They talked for three hours before Dan took her home.
“Dan said, “Good night Julie. I have enjoyed this evening,” as he walked her to the door.
“I did too Dan. I didn’t want to be alone tonight, and you were a wonderful companion,” she smiled as she went into her house.
What You Probably Didn’t Know about Domestic Abuse
Domestic Violence - https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/women-s-health-issues/violence-against-women/domestic-violence
© 2019 Pamela Oglesby