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The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to a Police Officer’s Regret

Dana Rutherford

(Photo: Unsplash)

I remember the day because it felt so impactful to me. I didn’t even fully absorb it however until recently. I wish I had thought of the right thing to say at the time. I wasn’t thinking as clearly those days myself.

The call came in as a potential domestic battery. The call notes indicated that a women’s sister was physically attacked by her live-in boyfriend. I responded to the residence, and it was silent. There had been other calls to this residence of similar nature. I knocked on the door with no answer. I had a feeling that something just was not ok. I continued to knock and insist that I make contact with someone, but there was no answer. I then implemented “the cop knock”, a hardy and firm knock that may or may not have echoed through the residence. The back door was then opened, and dogs could be heard.  My suspicions that someone was home were confirmed.

I wish I had thought of the right thing to say at the time. I wasn’t thinking as clearly those days myself.

I continued my hardy and firm knock, and the front door slowly opened. It was a young female. She appeared visibly upset with a mixture of sadness, fear, and despair painted on her face. I requested for her to step out of their residence for her safety, which she complied. I had her stand off to the side with another officer.  I was also informed that her boyfriend was still in the residence. I yelled inside and demanded that the subject exit. This took several attempts. A male finally came to the front door with a look of indifference on his face and stated that he had no idea why we were there.

I then separated the two and began to speak to the female. With every question asked she would try to look around for her boyfriend before she answered, but she was unable to view him.  She explained that she was pulled out of bed, drug naked across the floor, and an attempt was made to throw her out of the residence in the nude. It was explained that this was not the first-time abuse had occurred. I could see the physical injury to her and her pure look of despair.

Then she said the heartbreaking words, “Why doesn’t he love me? I only want him to love me,” as the tears began to flow.

I paused not knowing the right words to say. Did my heart break for her in the moment? Absolutely. Did I try to comfort her? Yes, I did. Did I give her words of encouragement? You bet. Was it a hundred percent what I should have said? Unfortunately, no.

Then she said the heartbreaking words, “Why doesn’t he love me? I only want him to love me,” as the tears began to flow.

I should have told her, “You know who will always love you no matter what? God.” I would have explained that he sent his only Son to die for our sins, and that he will leave the 99 to save the one every time. No matter what she has done or has had done to her that she would be loved despite it all. All that it costs is her faith, and there is always hope.

I will never make that same mistake again. There have been times in my own life where I have felt as though God could never love me that much due to me not being worthy. This is a lie. He left the 99 to come get me, and he will do the same for you a hundred percent of the time.

Whoever needs this, there is always hope.             

This article was originally posted at The Trauma Survivor’s Guide to Life Abundantly. To see more, visit traumasurvivorsguide.com.

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