Wife Beater

I’m writing this because it’s something I’ve never seen, and I guess that what travelling is about…

I was walking home after dinner, 8pm, it’s cold and raining, and I’m about 2 minutes from the hostel in the historical district in Poland.

All of a sudden a middle aged woman comes half running from the courtyard entrance of a block of flats. She is crying, looking as though she is in serious distress, holding a baby in one arm, and dragging a toddler in the other, toddler also crying. 

A second later a brutish looking man emerges, they are clearly arguing. 

I guess he is the partner/boyfriend/husband. He grabs her violently by the arm, she tries to get away but can’t, he starts to pull her back in to the flats and the toddler screams and cries, and starts to hit the man and tries to pull him off his mum. The whole thing is so fucked. The kid barely reached his mums waist and he is already completely afraid of this guy, and aware enough of how dangerous he is, to try and pull him away from his mum, obviously to no avail. 

The man doesn’t seem to notice the kid and the woman quickly gives up trying to get away and walks back in to the flat followed closely by the man. 

I was standing a few feet away, and a few people were nearby, a couple of guys walked past. All of them must have seen the whole thing as it happened so quickly but none even had a second look. 

I stood watching, in case he hit her, at which point I feel I would have jumped in, but I did nothing.

I thought I heard the kid screaming after they had gone back inside the courtyard so I went in to check, but they were gone. 

After I wondered if I should have done anything, grabbed the guy and let her leave, but i feel if she hadn’t managed to get away he would have beaten her harder when he got her back. And it would have been my fault. I’m assuming this guy beats this woman. I am pretty confident about that. 

I suppose I’m writing this because I needed back up that I shouldn’t have done anything. So all the mums out there reading this, I was right right?



  1. I think you did the right thing Tom. I’m not sure if they were speaking English but to intervene without maybe a way of communicating would have been difficult and may have put you in the firing line, without actually being able to help her. You did right by watching in case he did throw a punch. If I was their neighbour I would probably report him as it seems that toddler and the woman are vulnerable. If it had happened in this country I know that I could not have stopped myself and I would have intervened and asked her if I could help. Be interesting to hear what others think. Lots of love to you xx


    • It was all in Polish so we wouldn’t have understood each other. Good to know you would step in though in some circumstances. I kinda feel their neighbours must know as well, they were so violent and loud in the street that they must be louder at home


  2. How horrible to have witnessed such an event – it sounds worse than the ones in Brazil as it involved children who are unable to fend for themselves.
    What would you do if it happened in England …easy.. what would you do if it happened in Brazil…. not so easy….. what would you do if it happened in Poland….
    different cultures different attitudes and who would be able to predict the outcomes if you had of intervened. I would probably have wanted too, but …………


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s