En detektiv i London Metropolitan Police bloggar under pseudonymen Matt Delito. För några månader sedan, skrev han en artikel om relationsvåld. Han beskriver målande hur de arresterar en afghansk man som under lång tid misshandlat sin hustru och hennes mor. Han skriver om hur relationsvåld dyker upp så ofta att det närmast blir rutin.
Domestic abuse is a pretty regular part of the job – I don’t think I’ve ever had a full set of shifts where I didn’t get called to one domestic case or another. As a result, your knowledge of Form 124D becomes so intimate that you know the contents of each page of the form by heart. […] Needless to say, as a police officer, the biggest risk (well, the second biggest risk, after the risk of catching a kitchen knife in the jugular, I suppose) is that you become disconnected from it all. When I can feel the end of a very long shift nipping at my heels, and you’re going to the second domestic in a day, it can be very difficult to keep things in perspective.
Så långt känns historien igen. Sedan kommer det lite ovanligare:
Allow me to recapitulate; Not too long ago, I went to a domestic incident to a house where several known drug users reside. There was a lot of shouting, and a lot of semi-coherent, drug-fogged accusations flying back and forth. She punched him, he slapped her, she took a frying pan to him, he tried to strangle her with a necklace, she stabbed him with a hypodermic needle, he returned the favour with a knife… Well, I could go on. I know both of these ‘customers’ really well, and it becomes an immense task to try to even catalogue the barrages of abuse this particular set of customers subject each other to. But we have to. It’s the job.
Här beskriver han ett fall av ömsesidigt våld – den typ av våld som pionjären Erin Pizzey beskrev tidigt, baserat på sina egna erfarenheter från att ha drivit Englands första ‘women’s shelter’:
But Pizzey knew from her own experience (her wealthy, socially elite parents were mutually abusive, and her mother violent to Erin), and from what the women in her shelter told her, that most partner violence is reciprocal.
Matt Delito fortsätter med ett fall där en man polisanmält sin flickvän för att ha slagit honom:
Only a few hours later, I was despatched to another domestic, where a girlfriend had slapped her boyfriend… This is going to sound incredibly unprofessional, but I have to admit that I found myself really struggling to care about the case. They had an argument about money, she slapped him, he called the police. Don’t get me wrong; I’d much prefer he calls the police than that he takes his own revenge, but when I got there, I couldn’t help but think that they were a relatively healthy couple, and that he could have gone for a walk, come back, and then had a decent conversation about what had happened, and the case would have been solved without police involvement
Här börjar jag direkt tänka på de män som utsatts för misshandel av sina kvinnliga partners och inte tas på allvar av någon:
Antingen blev männen inte tagna på allvar, förlöjligade eller nonchalerade. En av informanterna blev skrattad åt av polisen när han försökte göra en anmälan och en annan kunde vittna om ett bemötande som var trevligt, men någon hjälp fick han däremot inte.
Men Delito överraskar igen:
At some point, I realised that there was only one thing I could do, and I asked very nicely if I could use the bathroom. When they gave permission for me to skulk off, I splashed my face with some water and sat on the toilet lid for a minute. ‘Pull yourself together, Delito’, I whispered to myself.
In this job, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the general population doesn’t come in contact with the police all that much. So, when Alice slapped Eric, and he chose to dial 999, this was the peak of something that had been building for a while. The apogee of action, the pinnacle of drama. On Eric and Alice’s intensity scale from one to ten, Alice’s assault and Eric’s picking up the phone to call the police to report someone he (presumably) loves, is an eleven; Tsunamis of emotion and more than a few thimbles worth of tears. That Eric and Alice’s incident barely registers as a two – perhaps a three, if I’m being generous – on my emotional compass is irrelevant: As a ‘law enforcement professional’ (as the US cop shows seem to call us these days), my job is to go to every job with a clean slate, and to muster empathy and strength in equal measure for every job I go to. […] It might just be me, but I find it emotionally exhausting to continually remind myself that what seems to me like a run-of-the-mill case of common assault is everything but for the people involved.
One person’s inner circle of hell might be another person’s moderately bad day, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter: As long as the sight of a police uniform and a stern talking to or a swift arrest can make someone’s life better, this job is still worth doing.
Jag rekommenderar bloggen. De artiklar jag läst hittills är klart intressanta. Relevant för denna blogg är kanske också artikeln The fuzzy end of the lollypop, där han beskriver hur han blivit ‘tagen av banan’ för att en våldsam kvinnlig heroinmissbrukare anklagat honom för att ha tagit henne på brösten när hon arresterades:
So, did I touch her boobs? I will be perfectly, inescapably honest: I haven’t the faintest inkling of a hint of a shadow of a memory of a long-since-forgotten dream of an idea. Some arrests are by their very nature pretty physical – and in this case, there was wrestling on the floor of a house where the floor is strewn with needles. We’re up against a she-tiger who is so far gone on drugs that she cannot feel pain, trying to wrest her hands onto her back, just so we can slap some cuffs on her and try to get her into the caged van. As it turned out, the van arrived quickly, and the driver and operator of the caged van helped us make the arrest in the end. I found an injection needle stuck into the sole of my boot later the same day, and I have no doubt that I ‘picked it up’ as we were making the arrest. It gets messy. It gets physical. It gets chaotic, violent, confusing, and adrenaline-laden.
Did I touch her boobs? Who knows – but if I did, I certainly didn’t mean to.
And so, as I am writing this, I’m stuck in an office at the police station, on telephone duty (basically, taking police reports over the phone), whilst waiting for this whole bloody thing to be sorted out. I’m meant to get interviewed by a colleague from another shift later today about ‘the allegations of sexual assault which we take very seriously’.
I’m not actually suspended, but they haven’t put me in a car for a couple of days either, which is extremely unusual, to say the least. I’m relatively confident that I’m not going to lose my job over this one – but I’m sure as hell losing an unhealthy amount of sleep over it.
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