Safety at Home (PSA)

I wish it was just a couple of times when a medical professional looked at me, while with my husband and said, “Everything seems fine, but it’s standard that we ask if you feel safe at home.” At this point, I glance awkwardly at him and answer that yes, everything is ok. But this.. this is what I want to say.

Medical professional: everything seems fine, but it’s standard that we ask if you feel safe at home?

((Awkward glance at my husband, standing next to me))

Me: how on earth could you possibly trust anything that comes out of my mouth at this moment? You’re actually going to give me that question, now? In front of my potential perpetrator? Have you ever gotten an answer other than everything is fine? No, no you haven’t. You shouldn’t even risk asking that question when the other party is in the same building. If I answer yes, and your demeanor shifts (or god forbid, the cops shows up) he knows I’ve opened my mouth or at least that’s going to be my perception. Domestic violence victims are survivors and some of the strongest people I’ve ever met. This place does not feel safe. You do not feel safe. Why would I risk my life, or the life of my kids to tell you while he’s fucking standing here that no, things are not okay at home. I get it, you need to make a little check mark on your form but do your profession a favor and use some sense.

Medical professional: ((stammers)) I just assumed...

Me: that someone in a compromising situation wouldn’t be adept at faking that everything was ok? Okay, supposing that you’re right. In most situations, there are tells. Nervousness, manipulative behavior, blatant misogyny. You still can’t assume. You can’t assume that the charming, caring partner is the same behind closed doors. Is the same while drinking. You made that question, and this facility’s policy a joke. A joke in which, I assume, the abuser is the only one laughing.

For the record, I am fortunate to feel safe at home. And on the off chance that changes, or I have an unwelcome visitor, I have a big fucking dog. I just wish these check marks made on the forms (for the record, this was the approach my first time at the facility) had meaning, or that the person asking the questions seemed prepared for a negative response. 


Popular posts from this blog


Time to Fly