What can you do

I was biking home tonight with some friends at about 2 AM when we passed a young girl under a bridge in a somewhat deserted area of a rougher part of town. She was crying and had blood all over her face, neck, and shirt. We were biking pretty fast so at first we went right by her but then when we realized what we just biked past we went back. Being vague about the details here, it was a younger girl, under 16, minority, who’s relative had beaten her up several minutes before we found her (we know this because the girl told us right when we found her). The girl was from a couple hundred miles away, visiting. The relative was in sight down the path a little way, walking toward us, and the girl was scared that she was going to get beaten again. There were three of us not-so-small guys and there didn’t seem to be any weapons involved so we stayed between them while we called the police. The relative kept saying “It’s a family thing, stay out of it” to us, and insisting that they girl go home. Eventually the relative just ran off 5 minutes before the police arrived (nice – beat the crap out of her and then run off and leave her with strangers in that part of town at 2 AM). My life just isn’t this dramatic so the whole situation felt strange and foreign.

I have no idea what it is like to be the victim, the suspect, or the police in that situation. Must be really hard for all three (tiresome for the police as well, which was the impression I got from them). On a lot of levels I’m happy to be ignorant of those perspectives, but ignorance never feels that good. I do wish I understood more.

3 thoughts on “What can you do

  1. Her life might be hard, but at least she found some strangers willing to take some risk to help her.

    I’m sure she’ll be grateful for those 5 minutes you spent with her.

  2. Hey man, just found your blog.

    That’s a crazy story. Did that happen in California or MN? I’ll be moving to San Fransisco for the summer right after Nate’s wedding. Too bad you can’t make it to his bachelor’s party. Anyway, when you’re in SF and I am you should give me a call and show me around. Beers on me. Thanks for helping that girl out, you have to fight your initial reaction just to keep biking. Maybe you should take a note from nate and bring a gun around with you :). Just like you helped him pick his computer he can help you find a nice 45.

    Dave Fowler

  3. I found your blog via your Mac OS X Firefox work – nice.

    Back to this post… well done. What you did may seem small (esp some time later) but you will have made a lasting impression on her, one that reassures her that not everyone in her life (or those around her) are out to hurt her.

    It’s always easier to ‘turn the other cheek’ and just look away when any of us see bad things happening. For you and your friends to make a stand like this shows that a new generation of Earth dwellers is coming and we won’t take this sh*t anymore.

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