Scenario: You walk by a bus station and notice a, supposedly, couple that behaves suspicious. The woman seems to be afraid of the man (stares to the ground, submissive posture, he holds her arm tightly etc.) and you get the impression that you just interrupted at best an argument and at worst a beating. You didn't witness any physical/mental abuse, though. However, based on your judgement, the man only waits for you to leave the scene to continue harassing her, and if you don't step in nobody will. (She doesn't ask for (your) help.)
Such a scenario can obviously have many dynamics, e.g.:
- Doesn't need to be at a bus stop
- You are the only bystander vs. others are around but didn't choose to get involved yet
- You are confident there is no danger in getting involved vs. the man seems aggressive towards you
- Language barrier
- Someone drunk is involved
I suppose a good way to intervene, in such situations, is to go up to them (maybe keep a distance of 2 meters) and ask whether there is a problem or everything is alright. After getting more insight into what the situation is one can take further actions (call the police), if necessary. However, from my experience, everyone involved (including myself) is in a high emotional state, under stress or overwhelmed with the situation. Calming down the situation (through talking) can take quite a lot of time and nerves (totally worth it if someone gets "saved").
My question is whether someone knows a reasonable/proven strategy to:
- quickly assess what's going on
- keep calm/keep an overview (especially when being attacked verbally/physically)
- provide help for a lasting solution (if there is abuse in a relationship etc.)
in such a situation.
I think it would be ideal to separate both (out of sight) and talk to her alone, which is especially difficult when he is aggressive and tries to pull her away. Any thoughts on why this is a good/bad idea and how this could be achieved?
Since strategies might depend on physical appearance let's assume you are male and at least the same "weight class" as the abuser (not a trained fighter). Answers without such assumptions are, of course, appreciated as well.