Our team had quite a challenging incident with a young woman called H, who had apparently suffered a blow to the head having slipped off a concrete ledge she was sitting on. Although one of her friends had initially called an ambulance, the four others were intent on getting her into a taxi and ‘home’. They kept saying that she was a “drama queen” and nothing had happened, but H was hysterical, holding her head and crying, reporting a bad headache and unable to breathe.

She swung from accepting help and being calmed by our presence to shouting to leave her alone. Her friends were behaving very unusually, as they kept shouting at us to leave them alone and they didn’t seem to believe that she had hit her head. She got carried off on two occasions by her boyfriend, but both times ended up on the ground crying and telling them to leave her alone. We followed at a distance and ultimately they tried to bundle her into a car, but she resisted and one of our team saw her “boyfriend” kicking her while she was on the ground. We called the police and when they arrived the four very voluble young men (who had also started throwing punches at each other) just melted away.

Having tried to cancel the ambulance because H wasn’t staying in the same place or compliant, the ambulance service rang me back and wanted to talk to her. By this time she was calmly sitting in the back of a police car, so she spoke to them and then the paramedics strongly recommended that she be taken to a hospital for assessment. That is what the police then did, attempting to contact her parents on the way.

Thinking about it, I believe that they were all on drugs of some sort. This all took over an hour and a half. I wonder what might have happened if Street Pastors hadn’t been around to help. It was certainly a challenging situation but by God’s grace she ended up in a place of safety and receiving the medical attention she needed