Today I was at the grocery store going through the check-out line, when I noticed the cashier had pretty massive bruising on her bicep area. I thought it was a rather odd shaped bruise, and a rather odd place to have a bruise, and, honestly, wondered whether she was a victim of domestic violence.
I politely engaged her in a conversation for a few seconds. She was quite chipper, really, but that means next to nothing in determining whether she is a victim of domestic violence. But as I started collecting my grocery bags off the turn-style, I noticed she had bruises in the exact same place on the other arm.
I was still unsure whether it would be my business to ask about her bruising. But I also know that if someone is in a violent situation, a simple question can be a catalyst for their freedom.
So, finally, I got up the nerve and I just said, “Those look like some pretty brutal bruises you have.”
She looked at me a little surprised. Then she smiled and said, “Yeah, I wrestle.”
“I wrestle. Don’t worry, I’m not a victim of domestic violence or anything. People think that a lot when they see my bruising.”
Now, if she is a victim of domestic violence, that’s the weirdest and most random excuse for it I’ve ever heard.
But what is more likely? That she’s being hurt by someone, or that this 25 year old woman actually consistently wrestles?
In any case, I wasn’t quite sure where to go after that. If she is being hurt by someone, she’s not ready to admit it. If she’s not…well, she’s got some pretty weird hobbies for a young woman who, well, looked nothing like the wrestling sort.
What would or have you done in such situations? How do you handle it when you see someone who might be a victim of domestic violence? How would you advise me to handle such situations in the future?