One moment in time, an assault in the form of a choke…

Our goal has always been to prevent one person, patient or provider, from becoming the victim of an assault. There are multiple, equally important reasons for this being our goal, achieved by our mission.

Let’s take one person, who becomes the victim of one singular event, an assault, and break down things occurring… from the moment the actual assault takes place, and go forward from there.

As a starting, or reference point, we will use a frequent type of an attack, … a person being choked from the front.  While in fact, there are multiple things having to take place before the actual choke could occur, we will deal with the choke itself, and what occurs from that moment forward. For the purposes of this article, we will say the victim suffered physical injury, including some redness, swelling, and scratches around the throat and neck area.

Here are two quick examples of real-world incidents: Medic Choked and Medic Choked 2 with many more available in our assault on staff logs.

The moment the attack occurs, the victim experiences  some form of survival stress. (The Caveman) Depending on previous training, experience, or the lack of them, determines the level of survival stress experienced.  If the police are called, and a report made, the criminal process begins. The officer will attempt to gain statements from the victims, and witnesses, and suspect. Sometimes an arrest takes place immediately, and in others, the officer may collect the information and ask for a warrant or subpoena be issued. Interestingly, often times there is a reluctance to reveal intimate details, like what they “felt” as the attack was taking place. This is particularly true in people perceived to be “tough” by friends, family or even themselves.

Once thing is certain, one doesn’t have to die, to be changed forever from a violent encounter. A victim may begin to change their personal behavior and perceptions due to the assault. They may perceive people who look or act similar to their attacker, as being one who may possibly attack them at any moment.  Sometimes they base their perception upon the type of clothing, hairstyle, location, vehicle, demeanor, or any other  infinitely possible similarity. One must admit they have their own personal beliefs about people (prejudices) based on previous experiences in their own life. No different than when one touches a hot stove, or bit by a dog… Once burned, or bit, there is an intrinsic caution to not have it happen again.

The victim may talk to friends, family members, news reporters, and even post things (including pictures) on social media about the incident. All one has to do is look around on social media to find stories from both attackers and victims alike.

The aforementioned  court process may take months to complete. Each time the victim goes to court or a deposition, they have to relive the assault in detail. Sometimes, somewhere within the judicial process, they are forced for the first time,  to speak about the emotional toll taking place since the moment the assault itself started. If the person was perceived as tough, and they tell the whole truth, they risk losing the “tough” perception. If they lie about what they felt, or fail to disclose fully what they felt, or feel-  they risk the potential loss of healing inside as well as losing the criminal case, but more importantly, they lose a piece of themselves.

Many have witnessed how stress affects people differently. Some victims turn to self-medication with alcohol or drugs (prescription or illicit), become withdrawn from family, friends and the general public, become angry over thing that never bothered them in the past and so much more. 

Sometimes the anger and drug/alcohol issues have cause marriages to fail secondary to behavior like physical abuse stemming from the original victim not received proper care and treatment for the traumatic assault they were involved with.

One doesn’t have to be a psychologist to recognize the points made above. In emergency medicine we have seen them, time and time again. If some pause long enough, and look in the mirror, they may very well see these traits in themselves. I know this to be fact, all too personally thanks to my ambulance being car-jacked and my personal struggles living with PTSD

Going back to the “moment in time” where the choke took place in our example, notice we did not state which, patient or provider, was attacked. The reason? It makes no difference. There are still so many more people involved than just the two involved with the criminal assault.To show proof staff have choked people: VIEW NEWS REPORTS HERE

 Without stating which is which ( victim or attacker), look at some of those potentially involved, based on one  singular incident, one precious moment in time:

Attacker, Victim, police, co-workers, witnesses,  members media (social and mainstream), bystanders, judge, jury, prosecutor, defense attorney, administration, supervisors, husband/wife, son/ daughter parents of both victim/attacker,  social workers and healthcare providers caring for a victim, victim advocates, probation/parole officers, dispatchers, jailers and more- all are affected in some way.

One must also consider financial stressors because of: Time off work for court, and/or treatment of injuries (mental and or physical), possible loss of work time due to behavior because of the assault (suspended/fired if attacker, jaded attitude if attacked) fines and  court costs, punitive damages, attorney fees, loss of career over fear/PTSD…

I could go on and on about the stories I have been told, face to face, about what happens after an assault occurs. Now, one can see how important our goal truly is, and always has been. Protection of one person, just one, actually effects, better yet keeps many, from being affected by that one crucial “moment in time.”

In the image below, consider this, it is a person who has just been attacked. The piece of paper is THE PERSON. On the left is prior to the attack. On the right is everything afterward. While THE PERSON is still THE PERSON, they will never be the same. As I have said for years, one doesn’t have to die to be changed forever from an assault.

Before and After Changed Forever