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Neighbour being beaten up by her boyfriend

(13 Posts)
Nezzi Tue 15-Sep-09 08:02:57

Last night I could hear my neighbour having a terrible domestic. There was an awful lot of screaming & shouting and I could hear stuff being thrown about, I wasn't entirely sure that it wasn't her!
I don't speak to her other than to say hello & ask how her children are so we're not exactly close. She has 2 young children and she's only about 21 herself.
I was tempted to call the police last night but I didn't want to make things worse IYKWIM.
It isn't the 1st time I've heard them fighting like this and apparently her previous bf was also violent.
I'd love to help but I don't know what to do.

echofalls Tue 15-Sep-09 08:05:16

If it was me that was being beaten up I would want someone to call the police .. she may not have the courage to seek help herself and may welcome intervention. I have never been in this situation before so maybe someone who has will totally disagree with me.

missingtheaction Tue 15-Sep-09 08:09:13

depends on whether she's being beaten up (or beating him up) or whether they just have terrible noisy china-crashing rows. One warrants the police, the other warrants moving house.

Nezzi Tue 15-Sep-09 08:18:32

I'm sure I would welcome intervention too but I have heard so many times & witnessed on a low level, people being angry at the person trying to help.
He was calling her names and swearing, followed by some thud or another. Also he was using the "do you think i'm f***g stupid" kind of debate!
It woke me up it was so loud.

mumonthenet Tue 15-Sep-09 08:21:48


I would call the Police, if only for her children's sakes.

That girl needs help.

Nezzi Tue 15-Sep-09 08:31:11

But what do I do today? The fighting is over.

mumonthenet Tue 15-Sep-09 08:40:44

Blimey, I don't know.

Maybe call Womensaid and ask them what they would advise?

nighbynight Tue 15-Sep-09 09:15:38

Things can often sound worse than they are when heard through the wall.
If she is being hit though, then she might or might not welcome help, depending on what point in the abused person's cycle she is at.

If she's still at the stage of believing that her dh is marvellous, and she is an unworthy being who does such stupid things that he gets angry, then she may reject your help.
On the other hand, if she's near the end of her tether, then she may subconsciously wish for help.

If you call the police without her cooperation, as she is very likely to swear that she wasn't being hit. In that case, I guess the partner would get a shock, but he is basically safe unless she cooperates with the police, which is a very scarey thing to do, and a very big step for someone who is being abused. She needs to reach this point herself, before she can rescue herself and teh children.

In your situation, I would try to speak to her alone, and say what you're hearing through the wall. I myself have been through the shit with a violent husband, and would use this experience to try and instill the idea into her head that she doesn't have to put up with violence, and that moreover, you aren't prepared to put up with hearing it (ie you will call the police in the future), and that you aren't scared of her partner.
I know from my own experience, that even if she says completely the opposite, the seed will have been planted, that she can (a) talk about the violence because it isn't private and (b) can get out of it.
She may tell her partner about the conversation, so you have to be prepared for that if you speak to her.

nighbynight Tue 15-Sep-09 09:18:07

just to add: she needs to understand that it's not normal to live with violence and being insulted. She probably thinks it's normal.

Nezzi Tue 15-Sep-09 09:26:10

Thanks nightbynight! And I'm sorry that you have been through this yourself.
I was hoping to see her taking her eldest to school so I could call her over and have a chat but I missed her.
I think her boyfriend smokes cannabis (skunk) 'cause I can smell it now & then; I know that this can sometimes have negative effects on a person's mental health so I'm not sure he'd be reasonable if he knew I'd spoken up.
Maybe I'll slip her a couple of telephone numbers, Womens Aid etc.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 15-Sep-09 09:26:44

Can I just be picky/pedantic please? I do not think referring to abuse as a 'domestic' is helpful. This implies that it is in fact something that everyone experiences to a greater or lesser degree and while arguments happen in most households, this type of violence is not 'normal'. A 'domestic' is associated with an argument, which does happen, rather than a domestic abuse sitation. Sorry, it needs to be stated as what it is ' a violent argument' or 'physical/verbal abuse'.

I personally feel that if you are in any doubt as to the safety of a person when you hear an argument you should consider calling the police. If things are thrown, people can get hurt, whether this is the male or the female doing the hurting/throwing or whatever. Many domestic incidences lead to violence by the victim as self defense as well as injuries sustained from a perpetrator.

its a tough call though. In the past when we were younger DH and I would be more 'vocal' in our arguments and although not violent, I suspect were not pleasant to listen to (usually if drunk, when in early 20's). I would have been mortified if the police were called. Luckily now we do not shout very often at all.

Nezzi Tue 15-Sep-09 09:40:34

You're right Pavlov, I only wrote that because I don't know the facts, I wasn't in their room so I don't know what was happening. Violent argument would have been better, sorry.
I did consider calling the police but I didn't want to make the situation any worse for her.

BertieBotts Sat 19-Sep-09 20:10:40

If her children are under 5 maybe you could mention it to the local HV team?

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