real life

A domestic violence victim's haunting letter to the man who stepped in and 'saved her life'.

WARNING: This post contains descriptions of domestic violence that may be triggering to some readers.

A woman, trapped in a headlock, dragged across a supermarket car park by the man she loves.

That’s the haunting image painted by a domestic violence victim in an open letter to a better man, a decent man, a who stepped in and potentially saved her life.

The woman names neither herself nor her saviour in the powerful Reddit post, but the story is sadly all too familiar.

She wrote of being trapped for years in an abusive relationship, of violence that escalated over the preceding few days. Her car, phone, computer – any contact to outside world – cut off.

“The only reason he risked taking me in public was because the income tax return was in my name and he wanted me to cash it for him,” she wrote.

“I honestly expected him to kill me afterwards.”

And so, she found herself being assaulted outside Walmart, too afraid to cry for help in case it angered him further.

“As my husband dragged me in a headlock through the parking lot towards our car, I struggled to escape his grasp, hoping someone would notice and care,” she wrote to her saviour.

“You noticed, and more importantly, you cared enough to do something.”

The woman’s letter tells how this “average, somewhat timid looking man” holding the hand of a little boy stood up to her “large, intimidating” husband, telling him ‘You can’t do that, dude’.

“Your voice stopped not only my husband in his tracks, but several other nearby patrons. My hope of rescue began to build,” she wrote.

A former abuser talks about domestic violence in Australia. Post continues…


Her husband’s response: “F*** off bro, this is my wife”.

But by then people had begun to stop, to stare, to put the spotlight on him.

“It was enough,” the woman wrote. “It was all I needed. My husband let go of me, got in the car and was gone.

You went on with your day, surely unaware of the impact you just made on my life.”

She believes this timid man saved it. That because of him she was able to call the police, her mother and escape.

“Finally, I am free. Thank you, stranger.”

The post, which appeared on the popular female-focused TwoXChromosomes forum, has struck a chord with Redditers.

It’s been up-voted more than 12,600 times and attracted hundreds of comments, many from fellow victims of domestic violence.

“I hope with all my heart you find the strength and conviction to never, ever go back. I am thankful you are safe as I come from an abusive past myself,” wrote one commenter.

“As a woman who saw her father abuse her mother physically and mentally for years, and then experienced it herself as a teen, I am glad you escaped,” wrote another. “That man was meant to be there and have the courage this day. Please never go back and I will keep you in my thoughts that you heal well. An even bigger strength awaits you.”

If you or someone you know is being subjected to domestic violence please call 1800 RESPECT or visit the website here for 24-hour advice, counselling and support.

Have you ever stepped in to protect a vulnerable stranger? Share your story with us in the comments below.