Domestic disturbance on my hall

So, a couple nights ago I was sitting around thinking great thoughts, or maybe I was cutting my fingernails, I can’t remember which. It was about 11:00 PM, and I heard a pretty damn loud argument going on down the hall. I hear shouting every in my neighborhood every now and then, but I don’t pay much mind.

It went on a little longer this time, and for a second I thought I heard thumps and stuff, like there was a fight going on on my floor. This scared the dickens out of me, mainly because one of the voices was female and I didn’t want to sit by and let domestic violence happen, but I also didn’t want to call the cops in and end up being wrong. “Sorry officer, it turns out they were just moving the couch and then one of them tripped over the cat and shouted and I hope I didn’t keep you from stopping any actual crimes.”

Anyway, the noise died down and the voices became pretty calm. By now I’m listening with my ear to the door, waiting for some real sign that somebody was or wasn’t getting physically hurt. Then, I hear a door shut, and some knocking. It turns out he had locked her out. I heard the female voice yell, “Open the stupid door! Let me in!”

Well that made me feel better, since I figured at least she wasn’t getting murdered. But after a few more minutes of her shouting I got concerned again. “Just let me get my shoes and stuff!” That did it. I opened the door and saw a young woman, between 18 and 22 years of age, barefoot and crying. She covered her face in shame. I asked her if she wanted to call a cab. “I don’t have any money.” I told her I’d lend her the money to get home. “I am home.”

So she lives with this jerk. I was about to offer some shoes, which would never have stayed on her feet (think Minnie Mouse). I asked if she could call some friends. “I called some people but nobody’s home, and my address book’s inside.” So Mr. Jerk wasn’t really trying to get her to go away. He just wanted to lock her out in the hallway, barefoot with no money, being perfectly happy to leave her stranded.

Anyway, I was glad to see she was not visibly injured. After an hour or so I saw her and a man (presumably Mr. Jerk) walk by my window and get into a car. So I guess he at least had it in him to kick her out properly by giving her a lift. I hope she never speaks to him again. I am still not sure if intervened too much, or too little, but I suppose it doesn’t matter.

I do tech support for an ISP.

The other day, a customer of mine (real tight-ass bastard bitching about his ecommerce store) hit his kid while he was on the phone.

I could hear the little boy (sounded about five) asking for something, the guy getting annoyed, and then whap!, and the kid started crying.

I had just logged into the guy’s ecommerce control panel and was sorely tempted to change the name of his store to “Child Beating Abusive Bastard Store”, especially since he couldn’t figure out how to change it himself.


Shortly after my first husband & I separated, I was living with my mom. I was sitting on the steps of her apartment building, reading a book, when a fight broke out in the building directly across from ours. I had been sitting there for a little while, so I saw the fight from start to finish, except for when I ran inside to call the police. He started it, most definitely, but she definitely defended herself. The cops showed up, and wound up taking the woman away, because the guy was the one with “visible signs of injury.” When I & half a dozen neighbors threatened to give the cop some visible signs, he reassured us that she more than likely would not be charged with anything at all, seeing as how he had taken statements from all of us, and all of us had said that the guy started it. What they were going to do, though, separate the two of them, fill her head with phone numbers of crisis centers to call, and try their level best to get her to get rid of the guy. Whatever the cops did must have worked, because I never saw the guy there again.

Take my advice. No matter how noble, no matter how wrong the parties are, never, never, never fucking ever get in the middle of a domestic issue.

Maybe 3 times out of 100 you do some good. The rest involves them saying nothing is wrong and you’re an idiot (even if something might indeed be wrong), the guy wanting to beat you to a pulp, the woman standing by her man like way too many abused women do, or any amount of the above.

Domestic abuse sucks. But trying to be a martyr in such a situation sucks even worse.

Yer pal,

Oh trust me, Satan, I never spoke to either party involved. I do know getting between two fighting people is dangerous. My mom was a crisis counselor for battered women for eight years. That’s why I called the police instead.

So Satan, Don’t get involved because you will look like an idiot and only help 3 times out of 100?
I don’t know, that doesn’t seem like enough of a reason not to do something.
Avoiding getting beat to a pulp is one thing. But, if your calling the cops will stop a woman from being beat up, and possibly save her life - I would say its worth getting in the middle, go right ahead.



Been there, done that. Called the cops. Woman (with arm in a sling) gets pissed at me, says “It’s none of my business, why am I calling the cops on her man?” Man comes in later to “talk” and proceeds to threaten me.

I’ll step in to help in a lot of situations, and have. But domestic violence has strange repercussions and is the only thing where the victim will hate you for what you did.

Call me heartless, but it’s something I don’t want to repeat.

I really, really really hat to do this, but I agree with satan.

They will probably just go back to the guy anyway…

But if there is real danger, call the cops anonomously.

I dont think Boris went too far though, he was just being polite, and even the guy who locked her out couldnt find fault with that.

I know I’m a newbie and all, but I can’t agree with Satan & kellibelli’s throwing their hands up in the air and saying “what’s the use.”

Yes, kellibelli, the abused does often go back. In fact, on average, the abused will go back to her abuser EIGHT TIMES before they finally leave for good (if it’s not too late by then).

Many times, the abused live in a state of learned helplessness. They have been effectively cut off from the outside world, no contact with friends or family, no money, no jobs (or, if they do have jobs, they frequently are required to go directly to work and return directly from work, and to turn their money directly over to the abuser). The abuser often leads the victim to believe that the only connection the victim has to the outside world is via the abuser. So of course they are going to lash out at any threat to that lifeline.

Oftentimes, there is substance abuse involved as well as physical abuse. Many times the victim is a substance abuser as well (it has been shown in studies that the substance abuse most frequently occurs after the violence). The presence of a drug or alcohol problem may muddy the waters a bit, but should not lead one to believe (IMHO) that the victim because of their addiction should be relegated to living their lives in fear and pain.

The whole situation is about power. A good resource illustrating the different ways an abuser will use to gain control over the victim is known as the Violence Wheel.

Satan, the intimidation you received is a small dose of what that victim lives with every day. And, unfortunately, it was enough for you to decide to butt out.

Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence

I think every one of the above points contains good points. That’s kind of the problem. We all have a big bucket of reasons to butt out, and another big bucket of reasons to get right in the way of the fist. I am probably almost twice as heavy as Ms. Barefoot, and plus I’m not in love with Mr. Jerk so the blow’s going to hurt less for mental reasons too.

Of course, I don’t think there was any punching involved in my situation. It was just the idea of physical violence that I couldn’t ignore. Anyway, in general I’m going to stay out of these things until I’m convinced somebody is physically hurting somebody, and then I’ll just hide under the bed and call the cops. :o

I’ve been advised by three different friend who are cops to NEVER interfere in these matters, but instead to call the police. Even they absolutely hate going to the scene of a domestic dispute- they just never know what the hell is going on or what’s going to happen. Any cops want to weigh in on this?

Run for the hills, folks! Or you’ll be up to your armpits in martians!

I checked out the
website. It was a lot of very interesting, disturbing statistics. I recommend it.

One stat I find hard to believe is that

(March of Dimes, 1992)
That’s a tough one. It conflicts with a good deal of info I have suggesting that homicides committed by teens are generally drug-related. Also, I’d like to know if the victims are really established abusers, or if some kid just killed his stepfather and later on made him out to be a brute.

But anyway, most of the stats on that site are pretty well-supported, and upsetting.

I have to agree with Satan. I don’t understand how these people think and I don’t know if I ever will, but you WILL ruin your life if you decide to get involved with them. It’s not worth going through all the stress and pain trying to love them and then have them go right back to the abusive relationship.

No, I don’t feel good about staying out of it. But there’s really nothing you can do. It’s all up to the person being abused. They have to realize that they’re living with a jerk. Until they do that, NOTHING you say will have an effect. They simply do not hear you.

– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

In my first apartment, I lived next to two sets of “winners”.

The woman living to the side of us would scream and throw things at her boyfriend, or throw the boyfriend himself against our common wall. Knocked our pictures off all the time. We just called the cops and let them sort it out.

The couple above us started out as a loving couple… too loving. We heard moans, groans, squeaks, shrieks, and thumps every other night after they moved in.

They even did it in their living room on Columbus Day in the daytime when everyone in the building was home. We heard them clearer from the stairwell than through the floor. When I went to the front door, several neighbors were looking up at their door. “Try sleeping under that every night,” I commented.

The woman also aerobisized, usually in the day when we weren’t home. But once she decided to do it at 2:30 am in the bedroom above mine. I went upstairs and gave her the best disheveled yuppie look I could and asked her to stop.

But after about 9 months, the fighting started. And they yelled louder than they made love. One evening we turned our TV up as high as possible to cover the sound. They then went to their balcony, where we could hear them better. My roommate went out and told them to shut up, prompting psycho-boyfriend to threaten us.

Word of advise to Alexandria, VA residents: don’t rent in Orleans Village. The walls are paper thin.

The very thought of a big person hitting a smaller person angers me, almost to the level of unreasoning fury. (I’m sure this is because I used to be the small kid whom everyone picked on.) It’s even worse when a man abuses his wife, because physical beatings are not the worst of it.

Some women can physically take care of themselves, but they’re not the ones who are targeted; the vast majority of domestic abusers can easily overpower their wives. They had just better hope I never witness it, because if I ever actually see a man strike his wife, I will immediately beat the living shit out of him.

Of course I don’t fit in; I’m part of a better puzzle.

I should clarify my earlier statement: calling the police, even anonymously, is probably the best course of action. Getting involved directly in the dispute could put yourself in grave danger (although most of the time the abuser won’t lash out against others, just those they can control). I understand that there may be no way to avoid being identified as the person who called in the complaint (i.e., if you live in a two-family house), but I would plead that people please not let domestic violence in your area go unreported.

(I’ll get off my soapbox now)

Let me add to my original position.

I do not in any way advocate violence, and when I said they would probably go back anyway, I didnt mean they deserve the abuse, what I meant is that if you help the wife, take her in, hide her, fight the hubby or whatever, one of 3 things will happen.
1- she goes back and hubby takes his anger out on her
2- she goes back, and tells hubby about how you helped her, hubby then comes after you (see note below)
3- she actually gets away, and you live with the idea that if hubby finds out you helped her, well…(see note below)

**note: Husbands/lovers that are abusive to thier wives are not usually calm, law-abiding gentlemen, they are psycho-nutbars, and they could pose a real threat to you and your family, your home, your car, your pets.
Think about it, big man beats little woman…do you think he would think twice about slashing your tires, poisoning your dog, scaring your wife/kids?

It is for that reason I say let the police handle it…they wont be retaliated against, and that is also why these transition houses for battered women are hidden so well.

AuraSeer, what you said above makes me want to give you a big cyber hug, you are a good guy, but in all probability, if you intervened, she would be badly beaten in retaliation. :frowning:

Calling the landlord about the noise of the fighting is good too, it lets the abusive partner know that people know what they are up to.

I am not saying you should get in the middle of the fight, and try to save the woman from the jerk. I am just saying call the cops each and every time you think its neccasary. The attitude, that she is just gonna go back doesn’t cut it. I don’t think.



You don’t read very well. The victim was as pissed at me as the husband!

If somebody is being mugged, and I help him out, and he starts to scream at me saying, “I love those muggers! Why didn’t you stay out of it!” it is a point of illogic I cannot comprehend.

Sorry… Too many women allow themselves to stay in that situation. While many abusers go from loving to abusive, it is a very definable pattern that gets worse.

The woman who says “The first time he hits me, I’m out of there” knows the score and if she lives by it, usually, the first temper-flairing is not life-threatening, merely traumatic.

I do not want to downplay the traumatic aspect, but the fact is that you rarely if ever hear about a woman who was beaten to death by a husband who was perfect until then. It’s a pattern that gets worse as time goes on.

Therefore, a woman had plenty of opportunities to get out of an abusive relationship under 99.9% of the situations.

Why should I risk my own safety when the victim keeps going back for more whether I help or not?

Sorry… As I said, been burned before trying to help someone who happily went back to the jerk. She made the decision to stay with this person, and make me look like an ass in the process. You want to make a judgement call, well, I’ll bet you never were in the situation.


If you read my initial post closely, you would have seen that I gave an explanation of why the victim may have been angry at you. And you said it yourself: you don’t fully understand the situation, you find it illogical.

Perhaps reading more about it could help you get a better sense about why the abused act as they do. I will say that your statements about the ability of the victim to just get up and walk away runs contrary to the information that can be found in just about every piece of domestic violence literature available. For example, victims of violence frequently blame themselves, and not the batterer, for the beatings they are subject to. And that a person being subject to abuse might not see that they have the option of walking away as clearly as you do.

Much of this information could have been found in the links I provided, if you cared to follow them & read the pages, or by plugging the phrase “Domestic Violence” into a search engine. Here is a set of 60 articles published in a Massachusetts newspaper discussing many different facets of DV.

I fully understand where you are coming from when you state your unwillingness to step in again and come to the rescue, as well as how you might feel hurt that the person chose the batterer over your help. And I agree that you shouldn’t risk bodily harm to provide assistance. Truthfully, the “rescue” part should probably be handled by those trained to deal with domestic violence issues, such as an advocate from a DV shelter or the police.

But as I said, I hope your past experience will not dissuade you from taking reasonable action (such as notifying the police) the next time you encounter an incident of domestic violence, instead of continuing the attitude you project, which is one where you: (a) falsely assume that the person being beaten can make as clear-headed a decision about their situation as you seem to be able to make for them; (b) espouse that if they go back, they get what they deserve (which, admittedly, you do not say directly, but you do infer by statements such as “happily went back to the jerk”); and © feel that when faced with an incidence of domestic violence, one of the key factors that should be taken into consideration before acting is whether or not you’re going to look like an ass if you try to provide help. You think the people who work in domestic violence shelters bat 1.000 when they come to the aid of a victim? I can definately tell you that they do not, but that doesn’t keep them from trying to help.