White Female, 27
I wrote this on Facebook after seeing a meme. Sometimes I react to things that hit the right issue that's been mulling around in my mind, a bubble waiting to be popped. I wrote this and wanted to share. I had thought long and hard about leaving political issues out of my website, but I cannot separate me from me, and I don't want to work with people who don't share my values. So I am publishing this, and I welcome you to learn more about what is being done in your area to help victims of domestic violence, especially POC and LGBQT+ people. If you'd like to learn more about police abolition then I urge you to check out The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale, or at least any of the the numerous interviews and podcasts he's been on recently. Ok, here's the post...
I was strangled just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale, FL in the McDonald’s parking lot sometime after midnight on Sunday, March 18, 2012 on the corner of 17th Street and US1 (ironically where I used to do hot yoga before the pandemic, and where I found a lot of peace). Because he was my boyfriend that I had been with for 15 months by that point, I was conflicted about what to do. Around 6am I finally had the guts to report it. I called the non-emergency line hoping I wouldn’t get in trouble for dialing 911 when I wasn’t in danger anymore (his mom had picked him up and taken him home).
I was passed around until I was given a separate phone number. I called and a groggy man answered. I am typing this from the very spot where I called, and I remember looking over my bed and hearing the words come out of my mouth for the first time: my boyfriend strangled me.
I didn’t make sense. He asked me to repeat myself. I was being quiet. I’m telling y’all, I was scared. Looking back, I wish I, now, could comfort me then, because I was terrified. (I only became tougher because I had no choice, btw.)
He said something about the time and then, I will never forget this: he said “this is the sergeant’s cell phone.” I said, “I’m sorry, your number was given to me” and went on to explain a bit before I realized he had hung up on me.
It took so much courage to make that call. When he hung up after telling him my boyfriend strangled me, I lost hope. I think if he had helped me, I would have never moved back to North Carolina to get away from him. I would have never moved to Virginia. I would like to think that 27-year old Amy Mahon had a lot more to offer the world, but the years were ripped away from me.
I have relied on police a lot over the years, unfortunately. Sometimes they’ve helped, mostly they haven’t. I know it’s only anecdotal evidence, but this is why I am fighting. I have witnessed the justice system and mental healthcare system fail people, even white people like me. Some of you think that you’re safe because of your race, and the truth is, that’s missing the point. None of us are safe, and some people are in danger. Read about policing. None of us are safe when there is a group of people who feel they have the moral superiority and power to decide who is a worthy victim and who isn’t.
Please look up abuse against black women and black trans women, by the way. Look up Salty newsletter and other sources that amplify black and POC voices. The crimes committed against black women and black trans people have been heinous and ignored. (My ex knew he did it. There were people in Virginia who looked me in the eyes lying to me, and I watched them as they made a mental note of each lie that they had to remember to keep in the future. Police know what they’re doing. It’s no longer about right or wrong, it’s about control, and that’s why my ex felt justified in choking me during an argument, or why police feel justified in using excessive force. I had a guy email me to say that he rejected my perception of him as an abuser, but he knew what he was doing, and he knew that at some point the time would be up and he’d have to face that he invented a whole different reality to make him not feel like “the bad guy.” They always know; don’t give them a free pass.) Their trauma is real, unheard, and we can let them get to the STARTING LINE of healing if we can bring them justice. Think about that. People don’t understand how you can be angry about something for years, which is insane to me, because the way I see it, I don’t see how an apology and justice can go ignored for so many years. I had no idea people thought my anger was unjustified until I got some nasty emails (from, by the way, liberals in Norfolk who are constantly posting about social issues). People I know spent years manufacturing a truth that I was hysterical and wrong, and NOW they’re having to face what happened. NOW they’re embarrassed. NOW it’s convenient for them to match their reality with ACTUAL REALITY. If you don’t understand why people are angry, it’s because you’re not actually doing a good enough job of standing in the shoes of people who have been victimized. We are ALL required to be part of the conversation right now.