It may be unnerving to know that your neighbor is being physically abused by her husband. However, there are things that you may be able to do to help an individual who is suffering from domestic violence. Let’s take a look at your options in the event that you want to intervene or try to help in such a case.
If you see or hear anything that indicates domestic violence is occurring, you may call your local police department. You will not be required to give your name or disclose any other information that would make it apparent that you called. It may be possible to request that the police talk to you after talking to the neighbors to give a witness statement.
If you suspect that your neighbor is being physically abused, you may wish to tell her about a battered women’s shelter in the area that she can go to. If she has children, the shelter may have space for them as well. Alternatively, you could allow your neighbor to stay with you or another person in an area where she and/or her kids will be safe. Another option is to provide legal information that could be used to get a restraining order or to ensure that her husband can no longer enter the home even if he is listed on the mortgage.
If you assault the husband or do damage to his property, you could face charges and spend time on probation or in jail. By getting involved during a dispute, you could be hurt or even killed depending on the circumstances of your involvement. Getting yourself involved could also put a strain on the relationship between yourself and the person who you are trying to help, which could make it even harder for her to get out of the relationship.
If you know that your neighbor is being physically abused, the best thing to do is to call the police. They can make a report and take other steps to document the abuse. However, only the victim can decide what steps to take to avoid her abuser. Therefore, it is in your best interest to simply let the authorities handle it to ensure your own safety.
Contact The Law Offices of Ann Thomson (Seal Beach family law attorney) today, or call 562-431-4333 to schedule a consultation.