Public Intimate Partner Violence… and Bystander Fails.

[Title: public domestic violence – everyone pretended not to see]

As I was leaving work, I saw a man shouting at the woman he was with, and repeatedly shoving her. There were several men nearby who looked over, saw, and did nothing. I approached the harasser and the woman, and asked the woman if she was ok. She said “not really, because this is how he is” as he continued to shout at her. Then he started shouting at me saying things like “bitch get out of here, slut.” I told him if he didn’t step away from her and me that I was going to call security of the building – more “bitch, I don’t care.” At this point the woman he was with started apologizing to me for his behavior (!!!) and telling him “don’t yell at her.” I spoke to building security and even though it was right in front of their building, security said they couldn’t help and I’d have to call the police. The harasser started walking down the block and the woman went with him, as he continued to shout at her. They wound up going into a subway station and getting on the train, and so did I. I found an MTA worker on the train and reported all of it— he immediately started to approach the pair. Finally someone else was willing to get involved! I’m not sure what wound up happening because they got off the train and I stayed on.