She had cuts and bruises on her face and neck, and one of her arms was covered. Even worse, she brought her 5-year-old son with her.
‘I did not expect that. In fact, it is not desirable for children to come when reporting a crime, especially in cases of domestic violence, because such a child will hear all about the quarrel between mom and dad.
You are well prepared. Colleagues who went home after the 112 call took her to the hospital in an ambulance. I have read their information carefully and will record it back as soon as I can.
“As soon as she arrived that night, she apologized because she had her son with her, but she did not have a nanny. She came straight from the hospital with the boy to the police station.
“He would like to tell you something because he is full of it,” said the woman. “No problem,” I replied, because the person who comes to prepare a report basically wants to reassure you. “Come on, tell the police what you want to say,” his mother said.
The child looked at me and said: My father and mother were angry. My father pushed his mother on the sofa and sat on top of my mother. I saw blood everywhere on my mom. I didn’t like it. Then Papa grabbed Mama’s neck. I said: No, Dad! Don’t!”
“That’s when the little guy started crying. His mother also broke. My stomach turned. If you read on paper how a woman was abused, it’s very different from a little kid crying to you that he was there when his father tried to strangle his mother.”
“You have to remain professional and watch your speech, because no matter how ugly it is, a child’s love for his father is unconditional, isn’t it. So I said as impartially as possible, ‘It’s good that you told me this.’” We will make sure you stay safe. You can play around in that corner for a while, now I’m going to put my mom’s story on paper.
She told his mother in detail how she had been beaten, how her partner had closed her throat, that she could no longer breathe and thought: This is the end. He almost killed her in front of his son.
I wrote a report for Safe at Home, cooperating care agencies discussing what they could do for the victim, and did a so-called on-site appointment—if someone called 112, the emergency room immediately saw that the caller had a higher alert.
That mother and son thanked me and left. I can still see that little hand waving at me. Then he came. You surprised me, so stupid, but suddenly I got so emotional. Then you sit there on your own. I went looking for a colleague, to talk to someone, but it was getting late, and the building was almost empty.
Somewhere in the room, I found two fellow blue, as we call them, from military service. I started telling them what happened, but they didn’t look from their computers. They have a different frame of reference; They go to traffic accidents, fights, deaths. They debrief after every serious report to give space to their emotions.
I learned from this incident that we, fellows who record all the statements, sometimes have to debrief, because our backpacks are also full. It happened five years ago, but I still hear that helpless voice in my head: ‘Don’t do that, Dad! Don’t.’
The receiving and service personnel had to occupy their place within the police organization, but we are far from that so far. I trained as a boa, a special investigation officer, and received six months of training to take tax returns.
I’ve been doing this job with great pleasure for sixteen years now, because I think it’s great to be able to mean something to the citizens, but I miss a little aftercare. A couple of weeks ago, someone came to file a report that showed me a child porn video on their phone – horrific pictures. I remember a girl who called from a closet that she crawled into because her uncle was beating her. This does something for you, it all goes into your backpack.
When debriefing about critical incidents, we usually forget who we are who contacted the victim or their next of kin. Now I always make sure that after a heavy report I go to the right fellow, whom I can express with my heart. But it isn’t always there. Then it stops.