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to be worried about my neighbour(s)?

(60 Posts)
MeadowHay Sat 27-May-17 20:02:01

I live in a flat, there is a family below us. The man has always shouted at lot at the top of his voice, which is annoying for us. Mostly he shouts at their three children (all under 5) and he shouts in a language we don't speak, so I can't know what he is actually saying. I have always assumed it is just typical stuff and whilst he clearly has a horrible temper there's nowt I can do about that. I have always been a bit concerned about his partner and about whether he is shouting at her sometimes but there has been no way of knowing. About once a month or so he would clearly be arguing with her as you would hear her shouting back a bit and then lots of doors slamming and usually him walking out for a bit and then come back later.

The last month or so their arguments have intensified. He shouts at the children really loudly multiple times a day, I'm not sure if that's got worse over time or not, often when the children are crying. But I have definitely noticed that they are arguing together more often and about once a week over the last few weeks this has been accompanied by very loud shouting from her as well, and loud crying from all the children, and door slamming and then like banging and on one occasion crashing sounds which sounded like possibly things being thrown or furniture being knocked about or something.

I am getting increasingly worried about her and the children but I don't know if I'm just being a nosy neighbour and I need to just ignore them? The worst fights have never gone on longer than say 10 minutes or so and he doesn't always leave the house afterwards, I don't feel like it sounds severe enough to call the police, there's no screaming or anything and whilst the banging sounds bad their children bang about a lot in the day so maybe I'm misinterpretating it given that I'm already a bit distressed hearing them both scream at each other in front of their little children who get distressed too. I would go down and check if she/they are ok but I have an anxiety disorder so I can't do that, and if DH was home I would send him but he is always at work so far when they have those awful rows.

AIBU to be worried, am I just being nosy or would you be worried? Is there anything I can do about it?

pipsqueak25 Sat 27-May-17 20:08:29

speak to landlord or possibly social services because of the childen.

HildaOg Sat 27-May-17 20:14:03

Whatever you do don't send your dh down to interfere in their domestics!!!!! If he was an abuser then a man interfering will be far more likely to be assaulted than a woman and anybody turning up at the door would provoke a far more severe reaction against the wife/kids when the door is closed again!!!

If you're concerned enough, you phone the police and/or social services. If it's not that serious then you can call their rental agency/council/environmental health about the noise.

MeadowHay Sat 27-May-17 22:21:55

I don't know who their landlord is, and their letting agents are the same as ours and they are absolutely awful and I am sure would have no interest in this whatsoever.

I don't see that I can ring social services just based off me hearing them row?

I don't understand what "concerned enough" means because I don't know when one is to be concerned enough? I don't know anything about domestic abuse and I don't know how to distinguish awful rows from abusive ones when I can't understand what they're saying to each other and DH and I never row at all so I have nothing to compare it to.

Queenofthestress Sat 27-May-17 22:27:24

How many times a week are they having a row?

Shewhomustgowithoutname Sat 27-May-17 22:57:01

Do you know what language they are speaking? Do you know anyone else who can speak that language. Maybe invite for tea at your house to see what a person who understands language thinks of what is being said and who it is said too. Perhaps wife is deaf.

MeadowHay Sun 28-May-17 11:05:11

The really loud rows that sound awful I would say are happening about once or twice a week now, whereas a few months ago it was more like once a month or so. Whether they row more at other times I'm not sure - the fella shouts like really bellows many times a day and I can't hear the lady shouting back, so I don't know if sometimes he's shouting at her or the children if you see what I mean. I always assumed he was shouting at the kids but I wouldn't really be able to know.

I know what language they speak as I asked the lady once when I saw her, but unfortunately I don't know anyone who speaks that language, which is a shame because you're right that could have been a good idea. I don't think she is deaf as have had a little chat with her a few times in the hallway and that but I don't know much about hearing loss. She doesn't speak much English which makes me worry about her more being potentially vulnerable, as the fella speaks fluent English. She and the children almost never leave the house either which is another source of concern for me. Until recently it was him who took the eldest to school and back and she never really went out the house (I am disabled so at home most of the time so I can hear them), but now I've noticed she has started taking the eldest to school and back which is positive because she goes with another of our neighbours a mam who speak the same language as them. Hopefully that lady is looking out for her and that idk.

minionsrule Sun 28-May-17 11:11:30

So you do know someone who speaks their language, one of your neighbours !

MeadowHay Sun 28-May-17 12:09:03

Yes but I don't know that neighbour, I've never said more than hi to her before, so because of my anxiety disorder I definitely don't know her well enough to invite her over unfortunately sad.

HildaOg Sun 28-May-17 12:09:37

So you don't even know if he is being abusive? He could just be yelling which some people do. It's anti social and inconsiderate to the neighbours but not abusive.

If you feel that the police or social services need to be involved then that's what i meant by 'concerned enough'. Otherwise it's just a noise issue.

Trying to insert yourself or your husband into their arguments (if they're even having any, some cultures yell and sound angry when they're talking about the weather) isn't going to be any help.

Kimonolady Sun 28-May-17 12:40:11

I think the fact that you've been concerned enough to post about it here speaks volumes, OP. It sounds like you know something isn't right, but are doubting yourself and want other people to tell you definitely one way or another if you're BU.
I would say something. Maybe that makes me nosey, but I don't care. Too many women and children live in fear because people don't speak up - "it's not my business" or "I didn't know what was happening" or "I don't want to get involved."
I would perhaps contact social services - if the family are already on their radar, that might be a final push. Alternatively, are the children at school? Do you know which one (based on uniform)? Maybe I would contact their school and say you're concerned - then might also have sensed something.
I'm not usually like this, but when it comes to women and children, I always always think better safe than sorry. The potential consequences for not speaking up are too horrific to even think about.

Dolallytats Sun 28-May-17 13:14:09

That sounds almost exactly the same as I experienced 3 years ago, except it was the mum yelling-there was no dad. THe mum would shout in a different language at the top of her voice and her children would be screaming and crying. I actually learned what the children's names were through her shouting.

I took advice from NSPCC and after this I called the police a couple of times. I was really worried for the children. The police told me the mother had said it was the two daughters arguing, but I can guarantee it was not. They were only 8 and 5.

It did improve, but about 6 months later the mum became ill with cancer and they disappeared a few months after that.

Like you, OP, I also have an anxiety disorder and I was always in so I could here how much shouting was going on.

LadyPW Sun 28-May-17 15:42:56

I know you've said that you don't know the other neighbour but as she goes with downstairs neighbour to school couldn't you give her a knock sometime and explain that you hear a lot of shouting & are concerned about the woman but don't want to report it to anyone if there isn't an issue, and so does she know if everything is okay? I know it's difficult with anxiety but there's kids involved and this would be a way of doing something without having to decide how official to make it yet.

Bluewombler2k Sun 28-May-17 18:17:14

I have the exact opposite at the moment, I can hear the lady screaming and shouting but absolutely no noise from the DH or their son, it has been going on for months now. I phoned 101 a few days ago because I was worried about all of them tbh, but don't know if they have been round yet. It was happening again last night amd today too. Yesterday, I knocked (didn't say anything about the shouting) and asked if their boy wanted to come over one day next week just to give the DC and her a bit of a break. Hopefully, it might be good for everyone but she sounds really unhappy and not right when we can hear her through the walls

Shewhomustgowithoutname Mon 29-May-17 00:15:52

Blue that is so kind of you to have the child over to your house for respite for the child and mum. I know of a similar situation but I have not been as brave and kind as you yet. I hope I can follow

hmmwhatatodo Mon 29-May-17 01:03:19

Op I think you posted about this family a few months ago when you were debating going round to them. Seems like things are a lot worse.

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-May-17 01:37:06

You can contact NSPCC anonymously.

Just tell them what you have heard without telling them exactly where you live, unless you wish to.

If his shouting is bothering you, an adult, through a wall, imagine what the kids feel.

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-May-17 01:38:27

Or you can report to your local social services.

metspengler Mon 29-May-17 01:51:03

I think the fact you don't know what they're saying is crucial here.

Lacking this much context and information means you just don't understand what is happening and unless there are clear, unambiguous sign of problems it could really be quite different to what you think.

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-May-17 01:57:07

They are shouting metspengler, what do people normally shout about? If it was a one off you could say it was an emergency etc. But this is not the case.

Let the professionals look into it, for the sake of those kids.

Creamdonuts Mon 29-May-17 02:14:36

What language is it and does the woman and children look well when you've seen them?

Chottie Mon 29-May-17 02:42:24

If you have concerns, please speak to the NSPCC or the school safeguarding officer. Please don't leave it, if you feel something is wrong - do something.

ohtheholidays Mon 29-May-17 02:48:54

Give the nspcc a ring OP they're really good when it comes to offering advice when your worried about a child/children.

You don't have to give your details if your worried,just tell them that your worried about all the shouting and screaming and the times when it sounds like furniture may be being thrown around.They'll know what to do and they'll contact who they think is necessary.

Your right about the fact that the lady may be more vunerable because of not speaking much English sadly there are alot of female victims that go unheard in this country because they can't speak the language so sadly find it almost impossible to reach out for help.

Hopefully nothing bad is happening for this family but it's always better to be safe than sorry and the fact that your ill yourself and are showing so much concern for your neighbours doesn't make you sound nosy at all it makes you sound like a good person and neighbour!

metspengler Mon 29-May-17 02:56:38

They are shoutingmetspengler, what do people normally shout about?

Almost everything there is to discuss in a family household. That's the sort of thing people shout about, from one end of the world to the other

My family constantly has the volume on their voices set to high much to my annoyance. DH booms, and any time he and teenage DCs are together, especially if they are excited or disagreeing (or cooking) - I can imagine it easily sounding very different if you couldn't understand English.

Italiangreyhound Mon 29-May-17 03:27:34

metspengler you mention teenage dcs, the OP mentions under 5s.

It's not generally good to shout a lot at under 5s.

I know we all do it a bit. I have done it a lot in the past but now I know how it affects kids, I'm keen not to do it.

It's usually a sign that parents are not coping very well. Because if one was, one would not need to shout.

It's different with teens, they sit with their headphones on and you need to shout over the sound of the trash they watch on You Tube, I know for me that is how it is as I have an almost teen and a six year old.

Guess what happens if I shout at the 6 years old. He cries. sad. It's just not good. Last time I did it, he turned to me and said "I'm not feeling very loved at the moment." He is a very articulate and clever, and confident boy, who we adopted three years ago. I immediately apologized and must do better.

I know some shouting is normal but this doesn't sound normal.

It's one thing to shout to an adult or teen in another room, it's different to shout in the face of young kids, or close to them. I am guessing with all under 5 it is the latter.

""A toddler doesn't understand the difference between you shouting at them and hating them," he elaborates. "With a teenager, that's not the case. There is also a difference between honest self-disclosure ('You've made me very angry') and abuse ('You're a horrible little brat')."

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