(I don’t actually know if your name is Marilyn, but I wanted to give you a name, because you’re a person and you matter).
I met you on the train tonight. You sat down next to me and then your partner made you move so he could sit next to you. I could see him being unkind to you and making you cry. I saw you try to stand up to him and the way he made you shrink. I could see him become worse and I saw that other man, Kevin (I’m going to call him Kevin, even though I’m not sure what his real name was…) watch what was going on and stand up and get ready to intervene. And I got ready to intervene too.
And suddenly Kevin was asking your partner if he “was alright mate?” and your partner was telling him to “f*ck off and not get involved.” I stood up and asked you if you were okay. You said you weren’t and that you were scared and wanted to get away. I asked you to come and stand with me, but even though you wanted to, your partner wouldn’t let you. I asked if you wanted me to call the police and you said you did, then your partner was calling me a “f*cking………” and I was ringing the police and stopping the train and your partner was whispering and suddenly you wanted me to stop phoning the police and tried to sort everything out. I know you were being brave. I know you were trying to protect yourself and me by calming him down. I know you were trying your best to make everything okay again.
Then we all got off the train and Kevin was really kind to me and didn’t leave until the police arrived. And your partner was shouting at me, and you were trying to calm him down and telling the police that “it was just talking”. And I saw your black eye under your make up and I saw how he hurts you.
Then the police said you didn’t want to do anything about your partner and I went on a different train home to you and then that was it.
Well Marilyn I wanted to tell you that you are really really brave. That I know you were trying your best to make everything okay. I’m sorry that when you got home he probably hurt you a lot, and says it’s your fault. But Marilyn, it’s not your fault. It’s his fault. He chose to hurt you and that is not okay. I know I couldn’t stop him and that the police didn’t arrest him, and that he’s done this to you before.
I know you might think I’m a nosy stranger, getting involved in your business and making things worse. But please, please, please, know that I tried to help because you are so so important. That you are valuable and worth so much. Kevin and I didn’t get involved to make your life difficult, we stood up and spoke out to show you what your partner was doing is wrong. And maybe nobody has ever shown you that before.
I know we will probably never see each other again, but I wanted to write to you and tell you that you matter, you’re important and anytime you need me to, I’ll stand up for you again.
Love Mrs GLW