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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Help Make It Stop

Via Women's Views on News, I discovered this video from the Metropolitan Police, telling people to dial 999 if they hear domestic violence attacks through the walls from their neighbours.

It shows the shocking statistic that almost 1 in 5 murders in London are the result of domestic violence, and ends with the statement, You make the call. We'll make it stop.

It's an issue that has provoked discussion with my friends over the years. Many, many of us have been in this situation, hearing arguments next door escalate, and wondering what to do.

I personally have dialled 999 when things sounded like they were getting really out of hand, but it wasn't an easy decision. When you do dial 999, you fear that you will make things worse for the woman, when the man is released, if he is taken into custody at all. You fear that the police will not take it seriously. You even fear that you may be misinterpreting the situation, despite the smashing and screaming that you really can't mistake.

But I did dial, on more than one occasion, because I feared that that would, indeed, be the time that he would kill her. Because I could not bear to hear her suffering and terror any longer. Because I could not live with myself if I just sat there and allowed it to happen. Because she was being beaten, her furniture was being thrown, and nobody should need to tolerate that. Because I could hear her daughter crying upstairs.

I dialled 999, but even having done it I was never 100% sure it had been the right thing. If it would make him more aggressive to her later. If the police would 'make it stop' at all. In the end I spoke to my neighbour alone, asked her if I had done the right thing, and asked whether I should I do it again, if necessary. She was a proud woman, and said she was fine, but did eventually agree that if it sounded really bad, I should call for help.

So what about you? Have you dialled 999 in that situation? Have you wanted to, but not dared? Have you decided against it? And why? What made you call, or what made you not call?


thermalsatsuma said...

I took a neighbor of mine to casualty when her boyfriend smashed her head into the radiator, leaving a cut that needed several stitches. The police were really good, arrested him and got a restraining order in place. Always make the call - you can do it anonymously if you need to.

incurable hippie said...

Nice one, glad they were helpful, and that you were too :)

Midnite Skys said...

I have like 3 friends I no longer see because they moved out of state to get away from boyfriends/husbands like that. One was a neighbor. She taught she could "change" him. But she found out he could change her. Keeping her away from family and friends. He changed her son teaching him it was ok to drag a girl down the stairs by her hair. When she heard that her son taught that was ok cause daddy did to her, she left. But I would and have made 911 calls (USA emergency number) when I taught things were getting to heated.
I once did when the wife had a knife. You never know what someone is capable of doing.
But have a code when things are getting to crazy. One neighbor had a ex and was afraid he try something at her house so we sent up a code. the front porch lights 3 times means call 911. One night we watched as we heard screams then it went quiet. Then we saw it the porch light repeating going on and off... we called 911. We told the operator we had that code. The police didn't take she is ok for answer. they removed him from the house in handcuffs. Her wreaked her house and then beat her.