While I was putting my items on hangars and steaming them, there was a couple across the room talking. He was putting together a table, I guess to try to sell it. She had a laundry basket of clothes. She was looking at the consignment form and said that she was really stressed out. He asked what she was doing. She said she couldn't figure the form out. He said: "That's because you're stupid." She leaned on the table he was working on, and he raised his voice and said: "Don't touch that! Don't touch anything!". "I'm not!", she said. "Go do your clothes or something", he said. She said: "I don't want to - I'm too stressed out." He said: "That's because you're lazy. When we get home, I'm gonna kick your ass."
Another woman who was hanging up clothes came over and said to the woman, "Can I help you with anything?" The man said: "You mean with the table?" The other woman said: "No, I was asking her if I could help with the clothes." The man said: "Do you work here?" and she said: "No, but if she needs help, I can give her a hand." He said: "Well, if you don't work here, she doesn't want your help."
The young woman took her basket of clothes outside, and the man finished the table and left.
I observed this, and was tempted to intervene, but the other woman did it first and was rebuffed. I was worried about inflaming the situation more by intervening as well.
I have been thinking about that young woman all afternoon and evening. I have been praying for her, for her safety, and for a conversion of heart for the young man who was so angry and bullying.
Alaska has the highest rate of domestic violence and sexual assault per capita in the United States. There is a new program initiated by our Governor, Sean Parnell, called Alaska Men Choose Respect. It is a program designed to raise awareness and prevention through education.
Please support programs in your community to raise awareness and to prevent domestic violence. Please let your friends know that real men choose respect. Please do what you can to help women break the cycle of domestic violence. Please pray for the victims. Please pray for the offenders. Please do what you can to end violence against women.
I didn't do enough today. I wish I had.
What would you have done?
Image: Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault