From the Art of Peace by Morihei Useshiba:
"Even when called out by a single foe, remain on guard, for you are always surrounded by a host of enemies."
This quote applies to this situation in the sense that you have to be aware that the woman may turn on you. Van Canna had said in one of the threads on his forum last year sometime that there are domestic situations where the woman turns on a cop or other intervener who is just trying to help her out. It's strange, but I know quite well that a battered woman is not the only type of person who shows too much loyalty to someone who mistreats her. It's a part of the psychology of her victimization.
That being said, I still have the attitude that I will NOT stand by and watch someone be beaten to death. If the situation is out of hand, i.e., he's just pounding and pounding the woman, I will intervene. This does not mean I will necessarily STRIKE the abuser, but I will do my best to hold him down, or restrain him if possible. If it were just one slap, I might take the approach of writing down the license plate number and phoning the cops.
I know that not interfering goes against our warrior hearts (assuming that the reason you take martial arts is that there is a bit of a warrior in you, no matter how small) and against all good sense, but the truth is that the legal system doesn't necessarily care about what's right, what's fair or what's moral. Remember, she may turn on you for intervening if she is afraid of what he may do to her after a possible sentence in the joint. And yes, your protecting her now may make for a worse beating later, just so that he can maintain his dominance over her.
Again, I would like to say that I know I will not just stand by and watch a woman be severely beaten by a man. I have a wife, sisters, nieces, a grandmother, cousins, friends, and other women I care about, who I would want someone to protect if need be, instead of standing by.
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