To the Girl in the Red Jacket That Police Were Unable to Locate,

man and woman arguing from video in this article

Screenshot from video on domestic violence. See below.

To the Girl in the Red Jacket That Police Were Unable to Locate,

Are you okay? I’m still worried about you. If I had a daughter, she would be your age. I keep seeing you hunching your shoulders as he shoves you.

I heard you before I saw you. At first I thought you were laughing and when I saw him double up his fists and make mock jabs in your direction, I thought it was horseplay. But then I saw your face. You were crying. He was yelling at you.

Arguing, crying, even fake punches aren’t illegal and I kept getting into my pickup but I couldn’t stop watching as you both turned north away from the Arcata square.

Still filled with warmth from sharing a unexpected and delicious meal with my husband and youngest son at one of our favorite restaurants, I was slow to react when I saw him shove you hard into a store doorway, grab you by the jacket, and scream in your face. You cried out something like, “It isn’t my fault” as he twisted away. You both kept walking north then. He shoved you hard with one hand at least one more time as you sobbed and curled away from him.

I called 911 as a large bus pulled in front of the Arcata Theater and blocked you from my view.

“I’d like to report a 415 man/woman,” I told the dispatcher. (That’s code for a disturbance. I should have said he was assaulting you.) I described a short, Hispanic or native, woman wearing a red jacket being shoved by a white male with dark hair carrying a large backpack.

When the bus pulled away, you were gone. Arcata Police were unable to locate you.

I worry. I want to know you walked away safe and that you won’t let him stay in your life.

I should have followed you from a distance or maybe I should have shouted that I was calling the police. I don’t know. I looked online to find out what I should have done. There isn’t much information and some of it is contradictory. If I had spoken up, it might have helped said some sites, but others suggest that the man with the backpack might have hurt you more later once he was no longer being watched. Direct intervention could have resulted in him either escalating the violence against you or turning on me.

There was the following video though and it worried me even more. Next time he shoves you or hits you (and studies show there may very likely be a next time), will there be any one to call the police?

I know you probably won’t ever read this. I was just one more person that failed to help you.

I hope that as a society we develop ways to teach bystanders how to intervene effectively. Meanwhile, I hope you find a way to escape this relationship.

Wishing that I had done more, wishing I knew more, wishing more for you,

Kym

 

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105 comments

  • Oh that’s so horrible, i myself have been in the situation and didn’t exactly react like i thought i would, i was also scared he would turn on me. I once did say something and not only did he yell at me she did also, telling me to “mind my own business” while crying her eyes out telling me im just making it worse for her, it was awful and i felt guilt for a long time..sad…

    • I was in the same similar situation.. In Eureka one afternoon. The guy was shoving her pulling her hair. When I confronted him she turned on me and tell me to mind my own business. I’m sure she got it worse after they were gone. It’s a shame that women can’t get away from the situation. I pray for them

  • Kym , A great article and inspired me to react if I encounter such a situation. This can be a volatile situation so carefully planned words are a must ! No woman deserves to be belittled or physically abused for any reason whatsoever. Peace…

  • Time of bus will tell you where it was heading and driver will remember them cause they check out every person as they get on. So time you called 911 the bus will lead you to there where abouts I’m sure so call the bus office if you can’t go there. I no long shot but it’s possibly the right shot and it wont take but just a minute or two God Bless

    • I don’t believe they got on the bus or perhaps they got on the bus but he didn’t continue the abuse. If there was abuse ongoing, I think the driver would have reported it. Bus drivers have policies they are supposed to follow.

      • Call the bus company anyhow and tell them what you saw. Each bus has video. They may have gotten on. If they are on the video then re contact APD

  • The writer didn’t fail the girl in the red jacket. Your husband did.

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Fear takes control of us. The woman has fear of the unknown, or what an attacker/predatory boyfriend and what someone two feet away fears, which is getting their ass kicked if they get involved and their day might get a little screwed up. Stand up. Put that guy on notice that he’s being watched and let him rant and threaten you all he wants. Get out of your comfort bubble of non-involvement because someone else 6 feet away is being controlled through fear and violence. We teach our military to handle any threat. Do this on the streets too. Maybe you’ll get dragged into it. Maybe the guy is 6’5 and 280. Maybe you’ll lose some teeth. Take the risk. Rise up. Put them on notice and swing the fear or uncertainty pendulum the other way. And some skinny punk looking guy like the one in the video? I think my kids could take him. I know the video is staged but there are very real, every day incidents like this in our region.

    • Ha! I’m not losing teeth because a women is making bad choices, and being with an abuser, just call the cops!

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        Cops come when you have the ability to make a phone call in a rural area where it will take the best one of them two hours to find your body. You can fight back behind your monitor and ignore the issues when it’s dark and raining. You’re a coward TC. Teeth can be replaced. Bones can be fixed. Bullets can be removed. What you can do today, is stop trolling.

    • Really? Dead is dead. You have no right to label anyone a coward for not intervening. Guy got killed by a beater in Texas just this week. Have you heard of these things called concealed weapons?

  • I watched the virtual same scene play out at reggae in benbow a few years back. Description of the couple even sounds the same. However, his MO was to head butt the woman, forehead to forehead while admonishing her not to look at him. She also appeared to be laughing before closer inspection.

    After watching the abuse play out next to me for way too long (fifteen-twenty minutes) I intervened and sent the coward packing. He told me stop looking at him, but that just made me crowd closer and position my head above his like he had done to his victim and smile.

    But make no mistake, I was pretty sure that if push came to shove the abused would be fighting against me for her abuser

  • Any idea how long it took for Arcata police to show up? They are notorious for being slow to respond to stuff so they don’t have to do anything.

    • I don’t know. I drove up the street looking for the couple but I didn’t see them by the time I got back in the truck and drove up to the area. They most likely went behind the theater but at the time I thought they must have continued up G Street.

  • a neighbor saw that exact same thing 3 1/2 years ago and did step in as the guy was battering the lady . when he got between them they both turned on him and the guy stabbed my friend and killed him and the 2 ran away but lucky were caught a short distance away . the guy is now in prison for 22 years for second degree murder.
    its hard to see anyone battered , its harder to help at times .
    if you see it happen , yell at them , make a scene so others look and get involved
    dont be a hero on your own, it could backfire

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Well…in game theory you don’t go on offense without some defense first. Life theory is there are no restarts. I would rather not get stabbed either but if you do nothing in those situations, then you are guilty of allowing it to continue. Like jumping into a flooded river to save a family, but it’s nature and your self-preservation working first. And we’ve already done that here years ago. Look both ways, up and down, then jump in. But you need to get in there if you are the only one around.

  • the misadventures of bunjee

    Read it a 4th time. This is what I take from this:
    I should have followed you from a distance or maybe I should have shouted that I was calling the police. I don’t know. I looked online to find out what I should have done.”

    You idiot. You were so worried about self-preservation when someone else you clearly knew was up to no good and did nothing. Simply watching and hiding behind a bush with a cell phone camera does nothing more that give evidence AFTER an attack. You know….like watching WWI movies on the History Channel.

    Jump in asshole. Make some noise. Bust your personal safety bubble because someone else getting theirs destroyed. Bullying does not stop at childhood. In fact, it gets much, much worse if not kept in check.

    • I won’t insult or use such punishing language but I have to agree. We all need to STEP UP when we see stuff like this happening. We won’t make much difference if we observe, call the distant police and then retreat to the internet. If it is OUR community then we need to STEP UP and protect each other. If you see it then it becomes your responsibility. The creeps only flourish when we allow them to do so. (I personally believe there is a huge amount of despicable behavior in Arcata because good people do nothing to discourage it). I understand where another frightened woman might hesitate to intervene but- and yeah, call me sexist- any man worth his salt needs to STEP UP and question this guy…Thanks for letting us comment on this event, Kym. It can’t be easy to admit a missed opportunity and take all of our flack for a learning moment for all of us!

      • I am a black belt (albeit a very out of practice one.) I think the thing I’ve most lost is my readiness to act. I was complacent and hesitant to believe what I really was seeing.

        • You did the right thing Kym. You can’t predict the reaction of an already aggressive person especially in a domestic abuse situation. As much as you want to help it’s not worth risking your own personal safety. Call 9-1-1, and monitor from a safe distance. Provide updates to dispatch as possible.

        • Too bad Kym’s not a black belt in bear spray.

    • Good point ! I agree with this 100% . However I don’t believe most non aggressive types or the non confrontational natured people, are cut out to do this kneejerk reaction that I have genetically ingrained into the roof of my DNA!

    • I am not sure that hiding in the bushes and shooting a ‘video’ of the event is not (part of doing) the right thing.
      First – See if there are others who might be able to help with the situation. Quickly coordinate if you can (For instance, just say, ‘Can you follow them. I’ll film. Stay safe!’).
      Second – Call 911.
      Third – ‘Film’ the event (maybe start before calling?).
      Forth – Follow them. And if after Step 1, IF there are enough people (2+) to stop what is going on right then, DO IT.
      As is agreed, this is likely a pattern. And, while the short term is more of that damage to ‘her’, to have EVIDENCE of the assault could prove most effective, to end the pattern.
      Of course it sounds like for you, Kym, it was dark, which would likely have made the ‘evidence’ less powerful.
      I am the type of person who would generally jump in to this type situation. Yet, I have been assaulted a few times. So, that PTSD may hold me back. Being seriously injured or killed is certainly a possibility. Maybe that’s why I can more easily accept the process above, looking at the big picture goals, instead of just ‘being a hero’. Bottom line, access and act quickly!

    • “You were so worried about self-preservation when someone else you clearly knew was up to no good and did nothing.”

      Seems to me, Kym’s more concerned about not being able to decide the most appropriate thing to do than about “self-preservation”, as you called it.

      Kym’s concerns for herself were prudent. She’s a family to keep in mind, too; she cannot take foolhardy risks (aka “kneejerk reactions”). Kym’s a responsible person.
      It’d be irresponsible for her to charge in: “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread.”

      http://komonews.com/news/local/man-stabbed-to-death-after-intervening-in-domestic-dispute

    • Firefighters wife

      So, you you do realize that this was a woman that seen this and called 911. Some men think it’s OK to hit and hurt women but will cower to other men. If your a woman you should both what kym did. If other people are around, let them know what’s going on and if in a safe place you could yell out that your watching. But if a man will hurt the woman he’s with, he WILL hurt you to.

      • Yes, he will! If he can’t hurt you…he will make her pay later! Anyone of these “commenters” been in abusive relationship? Really doesn’t sound like it! Lived it 8 yrs! Love can be BLIND and STUPID! Thank you Kym, for trying to help the girl in the red jacket! Perhaps getting more witnesses for filming the A%^#$&@, so more can watch him abusing? I don’t know the answer…EXTREMELY grateful for the parents of my EX-nightmare!!!!! Divorce final 1988! SAVE YOURSELF IF YOU CAN, GET AWAY TO ONE TRUSTED PERSON! REMEMBER…YOU ARE WORTH IT! It is truly amazing to wake up the last 29 years, and NOT be terrified of what may happen that day!

    • To the misadventures of Bunjee: To me calling someone an idiot or an asshole is pretty much being a bully. You won’t even post your real name. You don’t know what you’d do until you’re faced with the situation and every situation is different. How many times have you stepped in and been the hero? It could cost you or the girl (possibly later) her life. Don’t be so quick to judge.

      • the misadventures of bunjee

        I’m perfectly OK with your assumption of my post. I’ve stopped a few people. Been in a few fights too. I’ve had 2x4s broke on the back of my head chasing down a crew that beat up a couple women. I’ve had cinder blocks thrown at me from cars because I gave people a run down that assaulted another when trying to not be ID’d. Some of those battles locally. Does that make me a bully? I’m perfectly comfortable with that if it stops a rape. Worried about my real name? What exactly are you going to do when you also type under an assumed name? The moniker is really not all that anonymous to a large number of local folks. I’ll risk my life if if need be. I don’t expect to be a hero saving the day, and obviously not for attention of internet posts. Nor do I feel as a sort of vigilante. But I’ll stick to my words that say, you need to stand up. THAT is your civic duty if you see something going down so close you can hear their breathing and feel the fear. Do you not watch any of the advertising for domestic violence? Know the signs? If you see something, do something? Fear can be more powerful than any gun and if you’re right next to it doing nothing? Well “firefighters wife” you might as well be holding the gun for them. Curiously, if you are a “firefighters wife” doesn’t that make you proxy to someone that risks their life daily for strangers? I get the self-preservation angle. It’s a flight-or-fight mentality. If that keeps you alive, fine. Problem solved. But there will be days when you must crawl out of that protective bubble you put around yourself.

  • Wow Kym. Powerful words on a painful subject. Thank you for sharing that.

  • As a victim of domestic abuse, I appreciate your article and the situation you were in, Kym. It’s hard to know what to do when witnessing something like this, hard to decide what is the appropriate action. Calling 911 was the right thing to do, even though you wonder if it was enough. Maybe in this particular incident, it wasn’t enough to help this woman RIGHT NOW, but maybe she or another person being abused will read your article and maybe it will give him/her the courage to get out of the relationship. I know, lots of maybes, but to add another one: maybe next time you witness something like this, you’ll be more prepared to make a prompter or different decision. That goes for anyone who witnesses a verbal or physical attack. It seems to me that the man had probably been abusing the woman in private for some time, before he felt sure enough of himself to do it in public view. Next time he will likely use more force and she could be badly injured or worse. Thank you for bringing this crime to the forefront.

  • I just recently read something that made a lot of sense to me. DON’T confront the attacker, but DO walk up calmly to the person being attacked and act as though you know them. Engage them in conversation but ignore the attacker. Try to get them to walk away with you. So you could do something like this…”Hi Honey…gosh it has been a long time since I have seen you..how’s your mom (family, whatever) Hey I have something in my car I wanted to give to your mom…can you come with me and get it? ” IGNORE the attacker, have your phone ready in your hand, and get the person away without evoking anger in the attacker.

  • This brings back so clearly an incident I witnessed many years ago. I was absolutely frozen in place as a man chased a woman in his car, pulled her from her vehicle and began battering her. I was simultaneously ashamed and terrified. Then the miracle…a tiny woman pulled up at the corner and ran toward them, she was shouting stop that! I’m calling the police! And she stopped the battering by her presence, her voice. It empowered me forever. I’ve witnessed and been able to intervene, because of one tiny woman. We can stop abuse. Good for you, Kym, for doing what you could.

    • That’s a beautiful story.

      • Kym had the opportunity to pull out her cell phone and yell…
        “Stop!..you abusive hipster scum!”
        “I know the law!”
        “I know blackbelt stuff!”
        “Fuck…..”
        “I still have tape on my phone lens… Uh…. cuz Im super great, and have an award, and a website… And they call me the Miranda Mark Zuckerberg………..”
        Its pathetic… the way you exploit peoples’ tragedies to prove your own idealistic loyalties.

  • IF YOU ARE BEING ABUSED, JUST ASK FOR HELP. MANY PEOPLE ARE HERE FOR YOU! And we will follow how YOU want to deal with the situation.

  • My opinion is that nobody can help a battered woman but herself. Battering usually escalates and gets worse as time goes on. A battered person should get out early and stay out. In most cases to intervene only escalates the situation, or turns both parties against YOU. A few years ago our very own Humboldt County Sheriff Gene Cox was murdered breaking up a domestic disturbance.

    I’ve read that most women feel that they have done something wrong and deserve to be hit. That is never true, and MOST men realize that it is not fair to hit. Get out, stay out and don’t look back! No matter what!

    • https://www.whatiscodependency.com/the-truth-about-domestic-violence-and-abusive-relationships/

      “Most victims of abuse respond in a rational way. They explain themselves and believe that the abuser is interested in what they have to say. This lets abusers know that they’ve won and have control over you. You must design your own strategy and not react, thereby not rewarding the abusive behavior. You can do this by not engaging or by responding in an unpredictable way, such as with humor, which throws an abuser off-guard. You can also ask for the behavior you want, set limits, and confront the abuse. Most victims do the opposite and placate and appease an abuser to deescalate tension and risk of harm. It never works. Abuse continues.”

    • Ernie, I like how 34 years is “a few” years back. Boy, wasn’t that something!? How about this idea…start filming the fight on your phone. Let him know you’re filming and ask others around to do so too.

  • I was a battered woman. His sister tried to intervene one time and that night I almost died. I think he cracked my skull but I never went to the doctor. Then a few years later a stranger tried to help. I screamed at that poor man to mind his own business, that he didn’t know what he was doing. That night I got a beating for drawing the attention of a man, which meant I wanted to “F***” him.

    Intervention helps, but not in all cases. It’s a scary thing to witness, and a horrible place to be in. You did the right thing Kym, don’t feel bad.

  • Been there done that

    I have been in that situation. I have been in your situation. I have stepped in times when it helped. I have been told to screw off by the victim. It can go both ways. The fact that you did try is what you have to live with in the end. When you do nothing you always wonder. If they choose to continue with the abuse that is then on them. They wont leave until they are ready. Often they are not ready because of the emotional abuse. They feel they deserve it or they feel they are so low there is nowhere else. It took the RIGHT person to step in for me. Love the article though. Well written.

  • concerned citizen

    I did not read all of the replies, so i don’t know if it was addressed or not, but Kym, didn’t you win Citizen of the Year Award recently? It sounds like there was a lot of watching and observing prior to any action that may have at least got law enforcement involved a lot quicker… Regardless, compliments to your reporting and I am certainly NOT disagreeing with the your eligibility for the award you have won!

    • Yes, I won the award. In my defense, the whole incident probably took quite a bit less than five minutes. However, I should have shouted that I was calling the police as soon as I dialed 911. And I should have disregarded being on the phone and gotten in my pickup and followed them.

  • I grew up in a household where there was no violence. There were no arguments (of course, there were, but none of us kids heard any arguing between our parents. I never saw a movie about domestic violence; the concept of a man hitting his significant other was so alien to me, it never even crossed my mind.

    I went off to college and met the man of my dreams. Charming! Handsome! Intelligent! We’d play pinochle, gin rummy, board games… any game where it was pure strategy, he would win. He was from Germany, but had no accent. We went out for a while, then moved in together. We moved out of state. I ended up pregnant. After the baby came, his binge drinking became worse. When he was drunk, he claimed he blacked out. He was very violent. I have broken bones to prove it.

    I thought it was my fault, I was embarrassed to say anything. Later, I realized he wasn’t blacked out. He was always careful to hit me where bruises wouldn’t show. He was, by far, the most manipulative person I have ever met. Everything was a game… his life? a game. He always won the game, the other people in his life, be damned.

    It took me eight years to realize that I wasn’t on his “team”. I woke up one morning and that realization smacked me into leaving for good. The last time I talked to him was in 1983. The last time I checked on his whereabouts was 3 months ago. He’s in Redding, CA. Too close for my comfort. I pray my son never, ever tries to check him out. He’s not prepared for the sheer magnitude of that man’s manipulation games. I won’t even put my real name to this because I am still that afraid.

    Kym, your story made me cry…. that video made me cry. I know my neighbors in the apartments heard me cry for help when I was being beaten. Nobody ever said a word. Everybody acted like they didn’t hear me. I was less than nothing. He said it to me, the neighbor’s deaf ears proved it to me. If it wasn’t for my young son, I probably would have stayed in the relationship and I’d be dead now.

    You feel bad because you didn’t act quickly enough. But you did act! THAT is the difference. Thank you for this article.

    ~R

  • I intervened and survived tho I was very lucky.

    I am 6-3 and 250 but with glasses..so, you know, the ones the bullies want to fight, they can read I’m a weenie, my size makes them look heroic, but there you go…I once got challenged by a dude on a dance floor, he would have disassembled me, my date cold cocked him out flat on his chain wallet biker ass with one punch (she a former bouncer with a little smile and a hard right) (lucky me again)

    I was in a public place, intersection of two parking lots on a busy Sunday at a harbor, crowded with people.
    I heard shouting and kids crying and looked up and 200′ away a huge dude picked up a woman and threw her across a car. She got her kids and kept talking quietly to him, so he threw her on to another car. She was very fit and agile so landed on her feet..but the kids, 4-5 yr olds, were screaming.

    She was trying to calm them down and get away, he kept pursuing, but in a big slow yet aggressive relentless way.

    I hoped someone would stop it, but everybody near was escaping at full speed, 150′ from the useless Harbor Patrol.

    As they came my way and I went towards them (no conscious decision on my part, I was compelled to).
    I managed to stagger towards him as he came around a car towards me, she grabbed the kids behind me and got away…I had adopted, without ANY thinking a strategy: to play drunk, to his (probably) drunk..

    “Hey maaan, how ya doingggg?” (weave, stupid smile) He stopped and studied me for a second, I suppose confused by no screams or threats except for my size…however, as I got closer to him inside I was going “holy f*g s**t!, this guy is huge!”

    I was looking up 4-6″ to his eyes, he was wider than I, thicker, and not fat, just big and fit, and drunk maybe.
    He took off his glasses, (I thought ‘Oh now I die.”) and out of the corner of my eye I saw a couple of police angling around behind him..he handed me his glasses and said, ‘here, will you clean these for me?’ as three cops grabbed him.

    She and the kids were long gone 100′ away, the cops had a hard time subduing him, tho all he did was stay upright and look at me.

    No one there spoke to me about it…

    My drunk act, not thought about at all but just adopted when needed (I don’t drink) was to him not asking for a fight, not saying he was ‘bad’, not threatening, but a friendly person…and I didn’t think about it before hand, but I did have a long weenie nerd practice of avoiding fights by jokes and confusing sarcasm that mostly worked. I have seen people intervene by asking for a hug, even more dangerous I think….

    I have no answers, my usual go-to is a bat, pipe, pitchfork or axe handle, cell phone… so….no criticism from me Kym.

    A friend and Aikido instructor had a kind little smile as he gently helped attackers into the wall head first…the smile was probably the biggest weapon.

    • That was quick thinking! I’m very impressed. I wish I had been more nimble.

      • that’s what has always puzzled me, there was NO thinking, it was some instinct…and a good one, but nobody told me to do that.

        It was sorta like flopping on the ground in front of an attacking dog, showing abject submission.

        another choice ,might be to run past yelling ‘Run Away, The Police are coming!!!’

        it’s a distraction, you are clear of the scene…it might work, it’s another choice tiul the police or better help gets there, sometimes many are waiting for anyone but them to act and will sorta back you up.

  • I have confronted people doing the wrong thing before, but I am a 6’5″ 260lb guy. Makes it easier when you can litterly look down on someone when calling them out as I know most likely they wont wanna fuck with me. Now if I ever see a 6’8 300lb dude or somebody I thought may have a weapon, I would watch from a distance and call law enforcement.

    In your situation Kym, you did like I advise my quick tempered wife to do … think twice then a third time before confrontation and call someone.

    I think you did the right thing by thinking it over and calling law enforcement.

    You have an obligation to be there for your family and that is more important than potentially getting hurt or killed by confronting somebody doing the wrong thing.

  • Took alot of guts to write, admit this. You did nothing wrong. I get what u said about it not quite registering what you were seeing. Totaly. You called 911, that was so smart. I would have done the same thing. Maybe. As a survivor of serious domestic violence, ptsd 17 years later, one thing is true. My vile, evil, and pretty big exhusband would never confront a man. He only beats women. He did it to wife #2. So yea, kym, he could have turned on you. You did the right thing. I think the world of you. I really do. Maybe one day our paths will cross, I’d give you a hug!🌸🌻🌺🌷🌹

  • This Happened to me, what would you have me do?? I have no family or friends to run to…they wrote me off years ago…no work skills to draw from…he wouldn’t let me work, no children to get help with…agencies I went to for help told me ” If you had children you could get housing, food stamps and counseling.” Apparently there is nothing out there for me…I chose not to have children on this ride I been on… I am just one more female getting yelled at and sometimes hit once in a great while…Thank you for Not getting involved, when someone did..I dreaded the Drive home..once inside the door I was pushed inside and for 3 hours I would be hit along side the head, Yelled at so loud it hurt and spit at…then I was told I couldn’t eat I was getting to fat…you cant help me. love you for trying.

  • We feel like we should do something, but direct intervention is dangerous. Cops will wait for back up before entering a domestic violence situation. It is common for both the abuser and victim to turn on those attempting to help. Call 911 and track things from a safe distance.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      That works fine in the big cities. We’re in the sticks here. A 911 assault call, even with mention of a gun and you are say…more than 5 miles away from Eureka, you’re on your own. How fast do you think a “scene” is going to be cleared before an assailant got his way finally? And took off. And how long before the APB/BOLOs go out? I can be in Redding, Medford or hell, Reno and just disappear in the 6 hours with a running murder charge, if any of the last similar crimes are of any clue. I don’t even need to steal a thing. Or just hide out like Shane Miller where the best of efforts couldn’t find that asshole. That gray area is someone’s saving grace and while you’re worried about your day becoming a bad one, it already is for someone else.

      Do things come back on you? Sure. I’ve had windows blown out. Tires slashed. Trash talk on the internet. Pick pocketed by known theives. Have had guns in my face. Predators and abusers assume an aura of control of those around them. The particularly intelligent ones could come after you. And some will. In rural areas with lots of natural hiding places, law enforcement can only get there fast enough.

      Now, I have not said go blow someones head off or think you’re in the next Hollywood movie and try to kill a fly with a shot gun, but put people like this on notice, and get your personal defenses up. Hand off your wallet to a buddy and they run, get your cell phone camera running on Live, snapchat, anything..Let technology be your defense and offense when it all gets dragged into court or some other local, incidental surveillance is needed. And don’t say “Fuck you, I have my phone in my pocket!!” Never say that at all and there are plenty of apps that will record on voice command silently.

      (edit) I was told a long time ago when wifi became more of a thing and internet security and all that a practice to use is “data scattering”. Criminals and other bad people use it, of course. But so can good people. Scattering in the case of a rape is quietly and swiftly moving recorded data OFF your phone (such as, Facebook Live, Snapchat, others….) just as soon as it’s recorded and someone else sees it. Put something into as many other places as you can, and if you do see something, switch your location services on (assuming you weren’t hiding something to begin with) and have at it and if it all goes to hell, smash your phone. Or let it be smashed. Why? Those that wanted to keep you controlled cannot, they cannot get to your contacts or last messages AND all of that is already off your device. Let your defense be your offense too.

  • Just a bunch of crap. Could have been an abused daughter, who’s gay best friend was telling her to repeat “Its not yer fault”; clenching fists saying you “gotta fight back!” Could have been some chick from hoopa, whose brother just mugged a freshman hsu student. Could be a pregnant dope fiend that just shot up because she doesnt know how to cope with reality. Who fuckin knows…..
    My guess: This is an inconsistant drama piece, fabricated to off-balance the hit-piece against a fellow woman. A hit piece supported by statistics. 50% of schools were polled and dont like their new boss. Work sucks… Thats why they pay ya for it. Who knows?.. Maybe this slob of an administrator is on a one woman mission to drain the swamp so to speak. But my question pertains to your lack of questions. What is the graduation rate, attendance levels, relative testing scores, college acceptance rates and overall results the STUDENTS are producing? Those are more crucial stats than how happy employees are and long their tenures are executed.
    [edit]

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Dude….did you read the recent issue of the NCJ? I think the cover pic covers your post.

      • http://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/there-will-be-trolls/Content?oid=4191499

        “If small markets have the disadvantage of limited resources, then Kym Kemp and her Southern Humboldt news site, The Redheaded Blackbelt, shows how small markets can have the advantage of intimacy. Kemp’s site gets well over a million views a month. She estimates anywhere from 20 to 50 comments per post, depending on how controversial the topic is. Not surprisingly, the more controversial the topic, the more comments are posted. And she has decided to jump into the fray, frequently joining the comment sections on more than half her posts.

        “I certainly don’t want to step on free speech,” she says. “But I feel I am in a position of power and responsibility. I started this website to get our community to speak together, work together and understand each other. We don’t need a rage mode of insults, slurs and allegations without facts. I think we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

        It doesn’t come easy. Kemp spends 50 to 70 hours each week writing for and participating on her website. She doesn’t just moderate. She will occasionally debate with her readers and add her own opinion.

        “Yeah, I have to be balanced in my reporting, but even reporters who are supposed to be neutral have opinions,” she explains. “I think it’s a sacred responsibility for me to behave also. And I think the end result has been a greater level of thoughtfulness and civility. I think we have built a sense of community. It’s been rewarding. People like to be heard and I have to be fair and open minded … and myself.””

        Thank you for your wonderful work here, Kym.

  • -I heard you before I saw you
    -I thought you were laughing
    -Mock jabs
    -I thought it was horseplay
    -fake punches arent illegal and I kept getting into my pickup but I couldnt stop watching
    -(this is the best) “Still filled with warmth from sharing a unexpected and delicious meal with my husband and youngest son at one of our favorite restaurants….”
    Hahahahahahahahaha! THIS is the reason you aquire dumbest journalist of the year!?! Beacause you were sooo privileged to have a warm meal, compared to this poor woman’s cold life of accosted servitude.
    -#You get Worlds Stupidest Journalist Award for picking up your phone and hitting send before record…..
    -Well I dont think you are that stupid. You are ready for the next piece of gossip…..
    -Easy victim. Easy perp. No evidence. Just bullshit or your own exaggeration.
    -You preach man hate speech
    -You are the new Sabrina Erdely
    -Your fabrications disenfranchise the true victims

    • You’re a real piece, dude. The article is open and honest. Not the easiest to write about. I would guess you are an abuser. Please don’t hit her today, bottlebro. Get help.

    • It would seem you need to either lay of the meth, get some sleep, get back on your prescription or seek professional help. You sound crazy.

  • Its open and honest? Were you there? This is complete bullshit. But I obviously hit women because I call bullshit. Fakes and forgeries are the two reasons we question the genuine. Kinda like pouring 12 oz inna pint glass.

    • You are saying I made this story up…? That I called in a fake report on 911? If you think so, then maybe you should turn me because if convicted I could spend six months in jail for the crime…………… http://www.lacriminaldefensepartners.com/making-a-false-report-of-a-crime-penal-code-148-5/

      Just think then you wouldn’t be forced to come here and read my blatherings.

      • Come with some real evidence
        First peson acct
        First person journalism
        First instinct… Call 911 before filming
        Bad reporter… Bad protocol
        You arent this irresponsible
        Crying wolf before right before a High School hit piece
        Flimsy fluff piece
        Maybe snapchap suits you better

        • You’re a bully. Up all night much? Don’t read this blog if it ruffles you so bad. You’re an embarassment to all good men. Crawl back in your bottle😘bet your face is sooo red with anger.

          • Calling me a bully is a concession. Next up: white, sexist, racist, xenophobic….. “Uh thats all they taght me”…. “WAIT!…. Chauvinist too! I’m better at saying than spelling it” {(please insert applicable vocal fry and upspeak)}

        • Human first. Reporter second. And I don’t want to change that.

          Phone could not have caught anything but maybe some movement against bright light (Photographer part of me made that assessment before I called 911) Most folks who have taken any emergency course knows that you call 911 before you do almost anything else. Getting help on the way is your first priority in case something happens to make sure you have assistance if you can’t use the phone later.

          What is this about the high school hit piece? You mean the letter to the editor? I didn’t write that. Letters to the editor are other people’s opinions not mine. I print any reasonable submission. If you have complaints about that piece, you should write a response, but you would have to sign your real name and that does seem a bit difficult for you.

          • The photographer in you made a quick digital f-stop assessment that a potential perp was too difficult to capture? You are not an idiot… You are a liar.

            • I didn’t have my Nikon. I had my tiny smart phone……….

              Can I ask why you are so determined to paint me as doing something wrong? I suspect that no matter what questions I answer, you will attack. I have this rather naive belief that I just need to be reasonable and speak calmly and the other person will respond likewise. But that doesn’t seem to work here.

              • the misadventures of bunjee

                Kym….ban the poster! I can find you many, many cut and pasties of similar things in similar hit and run comment threads. I’m not sure even bottlemoronbot even lives around here.

                I’ll reference, yet again….from a long time ago:. know your internet antagonists:
                http://flamewarriorsguide.com/index.htm

      • Yes I think you made the story accommodate your perception. NO! I never said you “called in a fake report on 911?”. But you did defend that imagined allegation…. Now that you brought it up though…. Yes, you are the new Sabrina Erdely, and are exploiting TRUE victims of abuse by imagining fake scenarios.

        • the misadventures of bunjee

          Dude. Your trolling got ruined in the first sentence. Run along buddy. Go get your troll paycheck and move on.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Bottlebro take your punk trolling somewhere else.

  • There is another down side to getting involved and speaking out. You may very well stop the immediate threat and feel good about yourself at the moment, but I would just about guarantee that when he gets her alone he will blame her for causing the trouble and possibly make things worse. He will never blame himself. “See what you made me do?”

    A very tough call, but I think you did fine Kym.

  • You did the right thing I am a Domestic Violence advocate and. I hope she gets the help she needs , The girl knows you were there for her

  • I understand your hesitancy… I have been there. I was abused for 18 years. My father then my husband. I was so disempowered I could not see the light of day. The abuse just got worse and worse. After one brief escape to an abused women’s shelter, I started getting counselling. When my abuser would go off on me publicly, I often wondered how come no one would help me. I thought they were afraid too. He did act crazy. The few times someone did step in, it just took a word of interruption, to shift his rage from action to seething introversion again. It took 2 years of counselling before I got enough power to leave him. I am covered in broken bones, dislocations and scars and it is a miracle I survived. A distant but sure interruption of his rage could have served both to break his rage and let her know someone cared.

  • Just another bully the article hit him dead center. You did what you could that is more than most thanks Kym.

  • I was on a flight with my child’s father, who is very charming and very abusive. I didn’t know or realize that the flight attendants heard him threaten me on our way to be seated. After the plane was fully seated before taking off one of the attendants asked if my son & I would like to move to first class (away from him) We sat for the next 6 hours in luxury, free food, coloring book for the munchkin, during the flight the attendants kept asking if they could help any further, I realized that even though he wasn’t hitting me his pushing, shoving, yelling tirades were abusive, everybody loved him and thought he was such a good guy, I just didn’t see it. An older couple overheard our conversation told me they were also heading to humboldt and offered to drive us home to my parents so we didn’t have to go back with him. He had never hit me so I said no thank you and that we would be ok. They made me take their contact info so when I was ready I could have their help. When we landed in SFO and my eyes met his, he was seething angry. He tried to drive us off the road several times on the way back to humboldt, yes with our 4 yo in the car. He ended up leaving us in willits (in my car ridiculous I know) my parents called for me and reported it stolen. We were standing on the side of the Taco Bell trying to figure out the next step when that couple pulled in, they were so worried about us that they found us by the description of the car I had given them on the flight and were following us. They drove us to the police station because they had been communicating with a 911 dispatcher about his erratic driving and the cops were already looking for him. Eventually they found him and arrested him. They sat with us the whole time until a highway patrol drove me to my car. The 26 hrs they kept him locked up gave me enough time to pack our house (huge group of family & friends helped) & move us into my parents, settle things with the landlord and file a restraining order. I had so much help, I don’t know how much worse it would’ve got without the help, I feel terrible for the people on here who have no one😔
    That phone call probably did a lot of good that you didn’t get to see and won’t get to see. Proud of you Kym, keep being you!

    • I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes so proud of the flight attendants and the couple who helped you (not to mention family and friends!) Bless them for being there. I’m so glad you and your kiddo are safe.

      • Thank you so much for your kind words and helping that woman! It took me a few years to stop thanking everyone, the couple, ended up becoming good friends with my parents (who thanked them profusely) so my son has had the honor to grow up with them as his “extra grandparents”… we have been very blessed!
        “We will all get multiple times in our lives to receive and give help, give it when you can and receive it when you need it” my dad ❤️

  • Constant Vigilance

    I was in the most horrible domestic violence relationship. It took counselor s with PhD’s and the unrelenting support of very brave friends, strangers and family to get me out of this. Statistics are that it takes a very intelligent woman 7 tries to actually leave an abusive man. Know that everything you do helps–no matter how small. I screamed at a person that watched me being viciously attacked in the Rite Aid parking lot in Ukiah when I was being kicked in the back. This person called 911 for me and though it may not have seemed like it at the time–i was grateful that they did. Thank you to everyone who helped and that was a lot of people.

  • A woman alone seeing abusive behavior can’t do a lot. Ask the victim if she needs help. Chances are she’ll say no. Call 911 and leave. You will probably have de-escalated the situation by then. If she says yes, call 911 and stay with her. Tell her attacker police are on the way and video tape if possible. Coming off as non- confrontational is the best way to go.

  • Kym, this was a perfect example of what happens to us so unexpectedly..I have jumped in the middle of it at times and missed opportunities as well. Don’t beat yourself up! But use it as a filter for next time. Yes, next time…sadly it won’t be the last you see.

    Dan

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