My neighbour cries a lot, and I'm worried
August 14, 2012 4:07 AM Subscribe
My neighbour is clearly in distress - what do I do?
posted by catch as catch can to human relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I live in a mid-terrace house and if the neighbours on either side are particularly loud (even speaking loudly), it's not difficult to hear them. This doesn't generally bother me - I understand the disadvantages of living so close to other families, and despite working from home (ie. I can hear the day- and night-time activities), hey, that's life. There have been times in the past where I could hear fights taking place on one side, and have no problem phoning the police and reporting these things, so that sort of situation is not what I'm worried about, really.
I regularly hear one of my neighbours crying/sobbing, and he's obviously in distress. He's in his early 20s and lives there with his mum. Over the past 5 or 6 months, the frequency of this has gone up, as has the instances of them shouting at each other. If I can hear fighting, I know that calling the police is the best course of action. But dude is clearly experiencing some problems if he's sitting in his room and crying 3 times a week, and I really don't know what to do about that (or if there even is anything to be done). We do not have a relationship with them, apart from acknowledging each other if there's an encounter outside, and he has been rude to us in the past. Even if that weren't the case, I would be totally disinclined to approach him in person over the fact that I can hear him sobbing.
There is obviously tension in their household. Based on what floats through the walls, I don't think he is being abused - their fights seem to have a lot to do with him not finding a job and her worrying about him when he's not at home - but I really don't know. Is the best approach to simply phone the police if I hear them fighting with each other and try to ignore anything else I hear? It is distressing to be privy to it, but if I need to butt out, I will.