My First Encounter With A Victim of Domestic Violence

One early morning around 3:00AM in the ER, a month after I’d started, I looked up and saw a young woman, who looked about my age, with a black eye pushing through the doors carrying her baby. Blood was streaming down her face from a cut. “I can’t stop the bleeding,” she whispered. “You’re in the right place,” I said. “Looks like a nasty gash on your forehead. We’ll fix it.” I gave her a seat and began cleaning her up and applying pressure to the wound to stop the blood flow. I thought maybe she’d been in a car accident. “How did this happen?” I asked her. “I walked into a door,” she answered. Later, one of the other nurses said, “She walks into a door almost every week.” “What?” I was amazed. “It’s called wife battering. She’s too afraid to report him or leave—she needs to feed her baby, so she stays.” I was shocked and in total disbelief. That was my first encounter with a victim of domestic violence.