Violence Next Door

Violence Next Door

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Few years back, I was walking in the neighborhood with a friend when we heard the screams coming from one of the houses in the street. They were the sounds of a man and a woman who seemed to be having a big fight. He was cussing her and her mother out and then it sounded like he started beating her. You might think those things only happen in movies, but what we heard was so loud and so intense like those things you see in Arabic movies, or worse, in Kuwaiti Drama.

Few years have passed since then and although I passed by that house many times I didn’t hear similar noises again. I always wondered about the family though, but didn’t give it much thought, not until 2 days ago when I heard 2 neighbors talking about a woman in the street, who turned out to be the same woman I heard fighting with her husband years ago. It wasn’t over yet.

They said that the people who live next door to them hear them fighting all the time. They said that they heard their children crying while their parents fought and called each other names. They even said that from the sound of it the man seemed to be giving his wife a beating. They said they fought day and night and the neighbors could hear it all.

That night I stayed up at night thinking how this marriage could have survived all these years of possible physical, verbal and emotional abuse. What could’ve become of the children? Why are these people still together if they fight so much? Then I remembered the national campaign about domestic violence and how everyone is responsible, especially when it came to the children, and that’s when I started to seriously consider reporting them to Family Protection.

To tell you the truth, I still have my doubts about this. I mean, this woman must have endured all those years with her husband for a reason, so what if she refused to cooperate with the police or denied any abuse? But then I thought about the children. I mean she’s an adult and she’s free to do what she wants but it’s not up to her to expose her children to all that violence and abuse. But again, I thought that although this doesn’t seem like the happiest family on earth, but what if this intervention made it worse? What if the children were caught up in an ugly divorce and instead of watching their parents slamming each other at home they could be dragged to see it in court.

I’m really not sure what to do, but to think of what this could turn into I feel responsible to take and action to nip whatever might happen in the bud.

So, what would you do?

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