The Night We Escaped My Friends’ Dad Violence

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These are different friends who also lived through domestic violence, but sadly these friends were also there when I Witnessed My [other] Friend’s Mom Get Beaten for “Disrespecting” Husband. With a lot of discussion on the Stanford rape case, and sexual violence, I continue to share some things most of you don’t know about my life, including His Retaliation When I Rejected His Advances, in a series of blog posts on assault, domestic violence and abuse, in which I have been a witness of and even escaped from.

Once upon a time, I was still in elementary school, about the 2nd grade, when my older sister was still in the same school. We lived about 1.5 miles from the school, and our friends didn’t live too far. It was normal back then to be able to safely walk around town without too much worry about anyone kidnapping us.  So sometimes we would dodge the bus after school, just to walk about 1-2 miles to our friends’ house.

The brother and sister– Let’s call the brother Charles and the sister Cindy. Charles is younger than Cindy, about 9 years old, who was older than I, but younger than my sis. My siblings and I were born in the U.S. but they were born in Vietnam.

The situation was, my family knew their Dad and his Dad’s current wife, (not their mom). But we never knew, that he also had a 1st wife (their mom) and children (Charles & Cindy), in Vietnam.  When we found out, it was an incredible shock, as if who could ever escape war, leave their family behind, and remarry?  We wondered, why didn’t he try to get them to the U.S. sooner?  It was almost unheard of, because so many people took much measures to reunite with their families after the war. I understood back then it seemed impossible for people to come in and out of Vietnam.  Perhaps hope was lost, opportunity to start over, or something more?

If I recall correctly, after the current wife found out, they divorced, and he got his 1st family to the U.S.  He purchased a condo for all of them to move in together. Things seemed to be going well, until I realized it wasn’t so.

Their Dad, from what I knew up to that point, was charming, very loving of children, especially me, and seemed pretty happy around his 2nd wife and her children who were older in their teens.  No one ever saw an ounce of aggression and he seemed like such a happy guy.  Little did I know he was the opposite with this marriage.

One day, when we arrived at their house after school and hung out at Charlie’s and Cindy’s room, after the Dad arrived home, (probably unaware that us kids were over), he started yelling at their mom.  My sis and I froze, not knowing what to do. There were no other adults around.  Cindy then instantly became in protective mode of her little brother, told us to stay here, and ran out to grab the phone, run back in and locked the door to make sure their Dad couldn’t get in or hurt us.  She had mentioned that this was not the 1st time he hit her mom, and instructed us to escape from the window, but I didn’t know if I could jump down and I was scared.  As the commotion got louder, and things sounded like it turned into physical alterations, my sis and her encouraged us to run home and that she’ll call 911 and they’ll be OK.

So, my sister spotted me, and we both jumped out and ran home, taking a glimpse back, and run home to our safe home back to our moms. We told mom what happened.. And that was an incredible shocker too.  We knew Charlie and Cindy’s mom was very nice and who would want to hurt her?

We found out later that it did become physical violence, that Cindy did in fact call the police and the Dad got in trouble for such domestic violence.   I was too young to understand fully the extent of this, but I felt that Cindy did what she did to save her brother and I was glad that the police took it seriously.

Years later, I heard, (maybe rumor maybe not), I heard they eventually separated.

But realizing as an adult, whether she knows it at all today, that she was all of ourheroes and was incredibly brave, always protecting people.  Though she may never know, I am incredibly thankful for her protecting us.  I wish I appreciated her more as a friend, because at that age, I didn’t appreciate enough.  “Cindy” even at 9 years old, did the difficult decision, to report her Dad for hitting her Mom in order to protect/save her mom and all of us, thus a prime example of what to do if you witness such incidents.

I hope that you never have to go through this, and understand that you don’t have to tolerate any abuse, whether it’s a stranger, your own husband/wife, or your ownblood.  I grew up realizing the hard way, friend or in my bloodline does not mean obligation to tolerate abuse.  Others that think so, running out of guilt/emotions, continue to suffer life and their own dignity.

Learn when to stand up and say No.

Graphic by j4p4n @ openclipart.org

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