I know this is long, but please read and reblog this so that we can try and circulate HELPFUL information instead of deadly suggestions.
After stumbling across the last post I reblogged that was full of a lot of DANGEROUS, BAD, TERRIBLE advice in reference to how to handle calling 911 when in danger, I feel compelled to at least try and get some better information out there in the Tumblr community. I am a 911 dispatcher and the first piece of advice I have for anyone in an emergency situation (or even for someone that calls 911 accidentally) is:
DO NOT HANG UP. In case you didn’t get that the first time, I said DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE. We cannot help you if we do not know where you are, and contrary to what is apparently popular belief, we are NOT mind readers & without knowing your location (which you must provide) we CAN NOT get you help.
To help you understand the importance of this, I’m going to explain to you what happens when you call 911 in my center and in the centers in my area.
911 line rings.
We answer: “_______ (name of your agency) 911, WHERE is your emergency?”
In a perfect world, the caller will respond with the address of their emergency.
If you are unable to do so, we will start to retransmit your location. It takes time. Again, in a perfect world, we can usually get it in less than 10 seconds, but we do not live in a perfect world and so it often doesn’t happen that quickly. (Also, if you’re in an apartment complex, trailer park, hotel, etc, it’s not going to give us the room, lot, etc. number that you’re actually in, even with a retransmit). It is true that if you call from a landline your address will often populate for us, however, the address is NOT always right! We need you to try your ABSOLUTE BEST to provide us with an accurate address. By not knowing your location, you’re prolonging the response time. The call has to be answered, have a confirmed address, type of call that we’re responding to so that the correct responders are dispatched, and then it has to be dispatched. In smaller jurisdictions, their fire/EMS is often volunteer. That means: THEY ARE COMING FROM HOME TO THE STATION. It takes time & the more time we waste just trying to figure out where you are, the longer you’re going to be waiting for a life saving response.
The TERRIBLE information post that is going around tells you to call 911, hang up, and then turn your phone off. NO, NO, NO. That is the absolute WORST thing you could ever do. When a 911 hang up comes in we attempt to call the line back twice. If the line isn’t open long enough to retransmit an address (which most of the time it’s not), that’s it. The call gets out in and closed. There is literally NOTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP YOU. Even if we DO retransmit an address and there is no sign of a disturbance or no other indication that there is an emergency, we often do not send a responder because if we send one to every call, we’d be wasting a LOT of time and resources. We receive 911 hang ups/accidental 911 calls ALL DAY LONG. (Side note: the most common ones that we receive come from disconnected cell phones. Every cell phone (disconnected or not) with battery life can call 911, but 911 CANNOT call those phones back). If you call from a disconnected cell and we’re not able to get a location (or are and not hear any signs that would indicate a need for service), you will most likely not get the help you need.
Moral of this point: DO NOT HANG UP and KNOW WHERE YOU ARE. Try to pay attention to mile markers on the interstate & landmarks, signs or road names. If you call accidentally-STAY ON THE LINE. We (at least at my agency) will ask you to verify your name and address and that there is no emergency. As long as nothing feels/sounds wrong about it to us, we won’t send an officer to knock on your door. You won’t get in trouble. No one will be mad. Just stay on the line so that we don’t waste time and resources on a call that is not emergent.
Disclosure: some agencies offer text to 911. Don’t assume that you can text 911 unless you know that your locality has that capability. A lot of them don’t. If you’re able to safely call you should ALWAYS call rather than text. It’s faster and more efficient.
Answer our questions. We’re not asking you questions for our own amusement. Everything we ask you on the line is for your own safety and for the safety of our responders. They are much more well equipped to handle your emergency if they know what they’re walking into and what supplies they need to bring in with them when they come. We’re NOT going to send our fire/EMS into a scene that is not safe, so answer our questions so that we know which resources need to be provided to you. I know that often times the calls that people place to us are during some of the worst, most terrifying moments of their lives & we WANT to help you in the best way that we know how. We ask the things that we ask because it’s required & because the more we know, the higher the quality of service that we provide you will be.
ALSO: While we’re asking you the questions, most likely RESPONDERS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DISPATCHED. If you didn’t get that, read it again. You can’t imagine how much time we spend trying to argue answers to questions out of callers because we’re being screamed at: “JUST GET THEM HERE QUICKLY.” “HE/SHE/I’LL BE DEAD BEFORE YOU GET THEM HERE,” etc. you’re wasting your time and mine. Try your best to work with us because our number one goal is to get you the help you need as quickly as possible. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t do this for the money. The medics, fire fighters, police officers and animal control officers DON’T do this for the money. (It’s not there, in case you were wondering.) we do this because we genuinely care about other human beings. We want to HELP. We CARE. We are here to protect and serve, but we cannot do that effectively if people are constantly fighting against us.
If you have any questions about how things work here or need advice as to how to handle a call in to 911, feel free to ask and I will give you the best advice that I can. Just please, please don’t listen to terrible misinformation (like calling, hanging up and turning your phone off). These situations are often the line between life and death. As cliche as it sounds, help us help you. Much love, Tumblr fam!
Also, to any of my fellow dispatchers, feel free to add to this. I know that things can vary from one locality to another, so I think any input would be helpful! I tried to just stick to the basics in this post for that reason. :)
It is extremely amusing how currently in the Australian Media they are having a go at Islam due to a video that became public of two sisters in a talk discussing how a husband should beat his wife. These two sisters were discussing how after verbal admonition (towards a disobedient wife), that the last resort may be physical admonition, and this is something that has been expanded upon by the scholars. It is true that as a last option, it is allowed to admonish them physically and this is not something we reject (Surah Nisaa:44), but what sort of physical admonition is actually meant? As the sisters stated, it may simply be a strike to the palm with a folded handkerchief or type of light cloth, not a log, not a clenched hand, not a whip, or anything of that sort!
Imam al-Raazi mentions:
أن يكون الضرب بمنديل ملفوف أو بيده ولا يضربها بالسياط ولا بالعصا
It should be a striking with a folded handkerchief or his palm, and he should not strike her with whips or clubs. [Tafseer al-Raazi 4:34]
Furthermore, a brother expands on this beautifully and mentions:
“The “striking” without pain is only a teaching mechanism intended to draw attention to the seriousness of major sins and reform bad behavior. It is not intended to punish, humiliate, or degrade the dignity of a wife, nor is it meant to injure or harm her. For this reason, classical scholars placed strict limits on this and recommended a man use nothing more than a handkerchief.”
The irony is, as they are all exploding in anger and hatred at Islam in this delicate matter by which they bark “domestic violence” and abuse!”, for many, it is their own religions and values that in reality contains nothing in regards to how women truly should be dealt! Unlike Islam, it protects, and dignifies women, and seeks to safeguard them from all harm - physical, social and emotional. Which of their religions and values from their doctrines, books and texts promote the good treatment of women like that of Islam!? Rather, you will find many of their households, with men with no morals, men who come home drunk and abuse their wives (which Islam strictly prohibits), men who come home in a state of anger (by which Islam promotes strict control and restraint), and many other determinants which exist that lead to domestic violence that this religion has catered for, to prevent evil and harmful outcomes.
Allah says in His Book, the divine source of guidance for all Muslims:
“And live with them in kindness” [4:19]
And indeed, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the best of creation, the man which all Muslims are required to follow in his actions and dealings said:
“Many women have come to the family of Muhammad complaining about their husbands hitting them. These men are not the best among you.” [Abu Dawud]
ʻAzizamabadi commented in regards to this Hadith,
“The words: they are not the best of you, refers to the men who are striking their wives strongly or without restriction; rather, the best of you are those who do not strike their wives.” [Awn al-Maʻbud ʻala Sunan Abu Dawud 2146]
It is only the fool and the ignorant one that has no understanding of the wisdom behind the rulings within Islam, that will make such claims that Islam endorses domestic violence. Verily, it is is Islam that teaches its followers to treat women kindly and gently, it is Islam that teaches its followers that the best of believers are those who are best to their wives, it is Islam that teaches its followers that one should deal with their wives honorably and should provide them their rights. Indeed, the one who acts on the contrary has nothing to do with Islam nor the Sunnah of the Prophet
Born on unceded Sto:lo First Nations territory, Jasmin Kaur is a writer, graphic designer and spoken word artist. Her writing, which explores otherness, decolonization and the beauty of resistance, acts as a means of healing and reclaiming identity. As a youth facilitator, Jasmin has been leading writing and personal development workshops for young people since 2013. Aside from community organizing, Jasmin is working towards becoming a middle school teacher. You can find her on Instagram at @jusmun.
Because of you she doubts everything.
When she is happy, she’s scared to trust it.
When she is scared, the feeling is all to familiar.
You did a real number with her.
You definitely didn’t deserve her.
You didn’t deserve her love, her trust, her loyalty or her body…
Her beautiful body that you laid hands on. That you hurt and abused and wounded deeper than just the surface.
I will always hate you for that.
I will hate you every time I go to brush a hair behind her ear and she flinches.
I will hate you every time her eyes fill with tears at the memory of what you did to her…
But, what you don’t know… what maybe she doesn’t even know…
Is that she is a Phoenix.
She will rise from the ash that you created, more beautiful and stronger than ever before.
When she learns to trust again, it will be unbreakable.
You are not the defining person of her life. You will not be the standard.
I will show her what it means to be loved.
I will earn and keep her trust.
I will value her for the treasure that she is.
Her body will be loved, caressed and embraced. I will kiss every inch of her until there are nothing but good memories remaining.
I will show her what it is like to be adored and appreciated. She will never know what it’s like to be taken advantage of again.
She is mine. I am hers.
You may have been her “first love”, but I will be her last.
You were left so shattered by him; the way he tore in like a
hurricane and ripped everything from you - your heart, your worth, your
confidence, your hope.
You wondered how you would piece yourself
together again when only broken remains lay your feet. Dazed, you picked
them up, examined them, tried to place them side by side and make them
fit. But they no longer did. Who you used to be was nowhere to be found
in the wreckage he left behind; the only thing left was the grief over everything you had lost, everything he had taken from you, everything you once were and would never be again.
Through tears and regrets your weak hands fumbled in the mess that
surrounded you; here and there you would pick up what few pieces you
could find and hold them close to your chest until you eventually had
enough to rebuild something of the life you once had.
You placed the pieces before you and stared at the chaos, defeated.
But soon, you began to notice the way the haphazard curves of the lines
no longer looked amiss, but instead, wild and untamed. The way the
colours and patterns came together not in a mess of confusion, but in a
mosaic of abstract beauty. The way the cracks and flaws seemed less like
weakness, and more like art; profound and perfect in their own right.
Filled with hope, you continued to dig through the remains, only using
the best pieces to rebuild with; the pieces that were strong and
resilient and beautiful and brave. Pieces you had once loved, but that
had been lost and discarded by his careless hands.
Most importantly, pieces that carried no remnant of him.
You built until you were whole again; stronger than you had ever been,
put back together with courage and resilience and worth and strength and
the wisdom of one who has survived the storm.
From the brokenness came something new.
This is what we learn from those who break us.
That after the destruction, there is always the transformation.
And one day, my love, you will come to understand the beauty of a hurricane.
That sometimes what comes to break us, is actually what saves us.
I was dating a violent, abusive, terrifying, alcoholic, Crossfitter.
He said all of the right things. He told me I was beautiful, smart, funny, and caring. He told me he would never hurt me. He told me that when he saw me in my friend’s room the day we first met, he knew he had found the girl he wanted to marry. All of that changed when he got drunk one night with his friends and pulled out a Ka-Bar at a party and told everyone he was going to kill me with it.
When I first met Him, I was a freshman in college; a transfer into everyone else’s second semester because I took a semester off between high school and college. I didn’t know anyone and I was “the new girl.” My school was small so everyone in my class knew I was coming in. I found out later that I was known as the girl from England… Not sure how everyone found out I was born there but everyone was disappointed when I didn’t have a British accent. Anyways, I got to college and met a group of people my first couple weeks there that ended up being my absolute best friends throughout my college experience. The Binford Kids. This group was known for their 5pm dinners in the cafeteria and group outings and generally just being loud and obnoxious in large numbers. But hey, I immediately fell in love with each and every one of them.
One day, while I was hanging out with The Binford Kids in my friend’s room, a group of guys walked by the door and immediately stopped, did a double take, and walked in. “You’re new here!,” one of them shouted to me. I told them my name and small talk began. Each of them began to introduce themselves and the last guy introduced himself and we locked eyes for a second. He blushed and turned away and his friend nudged him and said, “Awwww you’re blushing!” Things got more awkward and we ended up just hanging out in the room for awhile, all together. Once it was time for them to leave, the one that I had locked eyes with earlier approached me and said, “ Hey. So… I was wondering… Do you want to hang out sometime? I mean, I can give you my number and we can hang out. Since I know you’re new here and everything…” I said yes, we exchanged numbers, smiled, and went our separate ways.
Honestly, I don’t know how it happened but we became inseparable. He moved, I moved. We spent every moment that we weren’t in class together and everyone knew us as a single unit. I had never felt this way about someone before and it felt so right. My friends all knew him pre-Me so they warned me to be careful. I didn’t listen because the man I saw in front of me was not the man that they were describing. He was sweet, kind, quirky, funny, and muscular. They were describing a player, a man who cared only for himself, and someone who was very, very violent. I saw none of it until later.
The first time I saw his true colors was the first dance performance of my college career. I have been dancing since the age of six and it is a part of who I am. This performance meant the world to me; to be able to dance in front of all of my friends and my new boyfriend. The night of the performance, I was talking about it with my friends and He walked in. “Are you coming tonight?,” one of my friends asked. Expecting him to say, “Of course I am! Why would you even ask such a thing!” was too much of me to ask, I guess. “Yeah… I don’t think so. I was planning on having a guy’s night; smoking, Xbox, stuff.”
Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly? You’ve known about this for weeks and you would rather smoke weed and play videogames with your friends that you see EVERY DAY than see your girlfriend dance in front of an audience for the first time in years? I just stared at him in disbelief and all of my friends sat in silence. I didn’t argue and I didn’t push and he just left the room. I burst into tears because my picture perfect boyfriend wasn’t so perfect after all. To be clear, he did come to my performance. With all of his guy friends. Stoned off his ass. And I bet he doesn’t remember a goddamn thing.
After that incident, there were many like it. Missed dinner dates, missed celebrations, broken promises, and making it clear that everyone else came first and I was just there as a second, third, or fourth option. I made excuses for him and said that it was okay; that he was tired, he forgot, and he didn’t mean to hurt me. I was with this man for three years and until the very last day I saw him, I stood up for him. My friends continuously told me that I was making a mistake and he wasn’t good for me but like the stubborn little shit that I am, I didn’t listen. One of my best friends in college was the one that pointed out something after we had ended things. “Whenever I asked you why you were with him, the answer was never, ‘I love him’ or ‘Because he makes me happy.’ No. The answer was ALWAYS, ‘Because I lost my virginity to him.’” That invisible tie was something that kept me in that relationship for many, many months too long.
He became abusive and controlling; would get angry if I saw my friends too much, if I spent too much time away, if I talked back to him, if I even talked at all sometimes, and if I talked to other men. One of His friends had a friend visiting from out of town for a weekend and the first night he was there, the friend got handsy with me because he was drunk and I told Him. He stormed out of my apartment, me running behind him screaming at 2am, and ran to his friend’s apartment. He broke the door down, off the hinges, got on top of this man and started beating the living hell out of him while he was sleeping. I stood there in silence as the man that I loved was beating this poor man’s face because he was drunk and got handsy with me and I made the mistake of telling Him, knowing he would be upset. He broke bones and not once did I even flinch or make a sound. I just stood in the doorway as blood flew around the room and I listened to this man’s agony and his screams for mercy. I was a hollow shell.
Our sex became non-consensual and that is something I will never forgive. He was violent, controlling, and he raped me. Over and over and over again. Some people believe that you cannot be raped by your partner, that sex is always a yes if you are dating. That is absolutely and completely incorrect. I became his play thing and I became someone he could “fuck and chuck.” I mean, as long as he was getting off, right? He began to sleep around the school; so many women that I couldn’t even keep track. I know of three, one of them being multiple times, but I know there were more. All of these women knew of me and knew about our relationship and none of them seemed to care. One night, after having too much to drink, I confronted him about his affairs and that sent him into a blind rage. A rage that brought him outside my apartment, down the stairs, and into the parking lot. I pushed and I pushed and I pushed and all of a sudden, his fist was through a car window. He had been so angry and so blind with rage because I was confronting him that he sent his fist through a car window. A car window that belonged to my neighbor. A car window that was never fixed by him. A car window that was replaced and paid for by my roommates. I stood there and looked at the scene and realized that I was dating a monster. A monster that broke car windows, doors, pushed my friend through a wall in our apartment, a monster that broke tables, chairs, and sent me into the fetal position, hoping and praying that he wouldn’t break me. I was dating a violent, abusive, terrifying, alcoholic, Crossfitter.
The night that ended things was one of the most horrifying and life changing moments I have ever experienced. There was a rugby social, which meant that we would fight about something and he would get drunk and do terrible things. You know, the usual. We did fight and I ended up staying home that night with my friends and we were all watching some trashy reality TV show when one of my friends got a text from a guy on the rugby team, who was at the party. It read something like, “He has a knife and is coming to your apartment for ‘Her.’ He said he was going to kill her. Get her out. Now.” My friend looked at me and said, “Get your stuff. We are leaving.” I had no idea what the text said and I had no idea what was happening but the urgency in her voice told me to get my shit together and to do it fast. We drove to my friend’s house down the street, the only place that we knew he wouldn’t come looking for me, and we waited. I don’t know if he came to my apartment, I don’t know what happened within those two or so hours that I had been gone but we figured it was safe to go back.
It was safe for awhile until I received a call late at night and it was Him, drunkenly screaming on the phone that he was sorry and he was coming over. Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck. Shit. I ran into the common room where my roommates were and said, “He’s coming over.” Immediately, everyone got up and started moving. I felt like I was in a tornado of worry, disappointment, and fear. His nickname was his name with the word “Scary” before it… We were screwed. A knock on the door. A drunken knock, followed by a, “Baby, please let me in. I need to talk to you about what happened earlier.” My phone rang. It was Him. I answered. “Go away. Go home and sober up. Go away.” I thought that if I said, “Go away” enough that he would listen and leave. Wrong again. “Open the door.” BANG BANG BANG. His fist sounded like it was going to come through the door. I was leaning with my back against the door, on the verge of tears, my body vibrating every time he slammed his fist against the wood. I was about to cry not because I was scared, not because I was worried that someone would hear him and call the police. I was about to cry because my exact thoughts were, “This is my fault. I shouldn’t have provoked him during our fight.” He had brainwashed me into thinking that this was okay. This is how normal couples behaved. This was my fault.
A voice brought me out of my haze. “911, we need help in Madison Woods. My roommate’s boyfriend is at the door and he is trying to come in and he might be armed.” Oh. The knife from earlier. He might have a knife on him. I completely forgot. However, my first thought was not about the knife. It was about my roommate calling the police on my boyfriend. I rushed into the kitchen and started screaming at her, telling her I could handle it and telling her she shouldn’t have called. Then, I lost control of my body, slumped to the floor, and I started to sob. I have never sobbed this way before or after this night; the sobs came from a place deep within my body and they ached. I sobbed because I had brought so many people into this mess and this was the worst it had ever been. This man who I called my partner was outside my door, drunk with rage, and possibly armed with a knife. He called again, I answered. This time, I could barely make out what he was saying but I did hear, “I fucking hate you, you goddamn whore.” And then, I saw police lights. So many police lights outside our window. Oh god, they’re here.
“GET DOWN ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR.” I was listening through my cell phone, which was still connected to Him. I heard him tell the police that it was okay, he was just trying to talk to his girlfriend. “GET DOWN AND LET ME SEE YOUR HANDS.” Grunt, shove, push, gravel. He dropped his phone next to his face and only then did I realize that a police officer had pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him. He was screaming at me through the phone, which seemed so far away. “YOU FUCKING BITCH. YOU DID THIS TO ME. YOU FUCKING DID THIS. I TRUSTED YOU.” I have no idea what happened after that because in that moment, I blacked out. I do not remember what happened once I hung up the phone, I do not remember if I slept, I do not remember going into my room or how I got there, I do not remember a single thing. From that moment on, I do not remember anything until I found out that he was being kicked out of college for possessing a weapon with the intent to use it for bodily harm.
I defended him until he was removed from my college and left the state. I stood up for him in judicial meetings, to my friends, my family, the Dean of Students. I made it clear that he was just “too drunk and didn’t know what was happening.” No matter if he was going to the use the knife or not, joking about killing your girlfriend with a knife that is used by the military and is the size of an infant is not something to joke about. He got kicked out of my college and I never saw him again. Three years of abuse ended, just like that.
I worry I will see him someday and I worry what will happen. I worry that I will become the victim again and cower in a corner. I worry that his rage will scare me into silence. But then I remember that taking three years of abuse from him was a blessing in disguise. I am such a strong person because of him. I am outspoken, wise, understanding, and I will not take any more bullshit in my life. Sure, it took me three years to get myself out but I am out. I am free. I have been free for almost 5 years now. And freedom has never felt so good.