My friend exclaimed ‘Why didn’t anyone do anything? If this was in a professional environment, two men or two women then there would have been intervention but because its domestic everyone turns a blind eye”
My first reaction was that maybe people didn’t really see what was happening or perhaps were too shocked or confused to intervene.It’s taken a few days but I’m starting to understand why people are conditioned not to do anything.
How would these same onlookers reacted if they saw a couple in the street having the same argument, the woman suffering the same abuse but the difference being that the couple were of a perceived lower class, perhaps part of an ethnic minority and on an average high street?
There would have been intervention. I certainly would have intervened. I have a profiled view of a victim of domestic violence- it comes from misery, from poor education, poor provision and opportunity. Alcoholism and drugs play a big role.
I would have saved that woman by clipping the man around the head and throwing out the police arm lock my Dad taught me when I was 13 and have been waiting to use ever since. I would have probably got my ass kicked but I would have felt obliged to help, I would of felt safe in the fact that any men around at the same time would come to our aid and eventually, I would have been rather chuffed with myself.
Sitting across from a well-known, wealthy couple in a posh restaurant surrounded by others who were doing nothing to intervene I can’t, hand on heart, declare that I would have said or done something. This situation would have made me feel rather confused. Domestic violence doesn’t happen to posh, rich happy people right? I must be misreading this situation. A ‘playful tiff‘ maybe?
Obviously, now knowing Saatchi is capable of this behaviour through this highly reported altercation I would have no qualms in smashing a posh plate over his head and shouting “Nigella, lets bust out of this joint”
Me to the rescue. In this highly ridiculous fantasy, again, I’m so proud of myself.
In reality however, not associating these two people with anything other than happiness, wealth, food and art; I would have gone through the following thoughts:
- What the hell?
- Is anyone going to do anything? The staff will say something.
- I’m not the closest to them so I will wait to see if they say something.
- Ok no one has said anything, shall I say something? He isn’t really hitting her and she is still calming him down.
- I’m embarrassed. Shall I pretend to ignore it I don’t want to embarrass her?
AND I’M A FEMINIST. I loathe myself.
Now Mr Saatchi has released a statement claiming that he was grabbing her face to emphasise a point in an argument about their children, that Nigella was weeping because she didn’t like arguing with her husband (sniffle, sniffle) and he has ‘told her’ to take the kids and leave whilst the dust settles’. even the guardian speculated that we were all jumping to conclusions. This morning they have apologised for saying such things.
Nigella has remained silent, has left with her children and ‘has no immediate plans to return’.
Actions speak louder than words. Both Nigella’s and onlooker’s voices are absent from the situation and it’s that, which is most disturbing.