26 Jun 2012
Hi Jude, my neighbours are Chinese (they don't speak much English) and they often talk outside at night. I don't understand what they are saying, but sometimes they are yelling. I've been told that Cantonese often sounds like an argument to speakers of other languages even when it's not, but a couple of months ago it escalated and the police were called. I heard the father being arrested and charged with assaulting his daughter. There are young children in the house too, I think they are primary school aged. I haven't seen the daughter since so I don't know if she still lives there. Last night they were talking again, I really can't tell if it's just conversation or a fight, but I can't think why else they would do it outside (where the whole neighbourhood can hear but not understand) or inside where the children could hear. I don't know them well enough to speak to them and I don't want to get involved in their affairs but I'd like them to get help if they need it. What should I do?
Thank you for writing in and I really appreciate you for caring and asking what options you have and how you can help. You are doing what we want everyone to do if they have concerns about a family who may be experiencing family violence. Well done!
If the father has previously been arrested and charged with assaulting his daughter then I would suggest that if you have any concerns at all you ring the Police. There is a history there so it would not be wise to leave it to chance. It is always better to contact the authorities and be wrong than do nothing and there be a fatality. That would be very difficult to live with.
I would like to suggest that you give our information line on 0800 456 450 a call and ask them about Chinese Family Violence Prevention Services. You can give them a call, share what is happening and they will be able to give you some advice on what to do.
Another thing to know is that the Police can access interpreters when needed so that would help them gain a clear understanding of what is going on and how best to deal with the situation.
I would encourage you to keep ringing the Police and share your concerns, as I mentioned earlier, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially if there are children in the house.
Thank you again for speaking out.
Other Ask Jude Questions10 Jun 2013
Dear Jude, my husband and I just had a fight an hour ago. That was the third time since we married (almost three years now). Actually the starting point is when he refused to pick me up from work yesterday night. Even though I said OK and came home by myself, I was still angry at him. Today I pretended that nothing had happened yesterday, but he kept saying that I acted stupidly last night, that it was not his fault (not picking me up). He started blaming me that I didn't quit that job and look for a new one near our place.
He yelled at me and I yelled back. Probably it was my fault as well because I started throwing things (not at him). Then he shook me madly and threw me on the floor. He kicked me several times. I tried to fight back but I didn't have enough power. He also hit me with thick foam sheet until it was broken in pieces. He squeezed my neck quite hard, but just a few seconds. After that I found bruises on my neck, my lips, and my legs, a bleeding cut on my forehead and my right elbow.
I think this time he's gone too far, but I don't want to divorce as I still love him. And I don't want to report this to Police as well. When he isn't angry he is a very nice guy.
What should I do now? Thank you.... Read the answer
27 May 2013
My friend is in a violent relationship and has been for a few years now. I have listened, been supportive, helped her come up with plans to leave which has never happened yet. She has one child that's not his and one to him. The stepchild is old enough to know what is going on and is scared of him. I have seen her and the child's personality change and they are becoming very withdrawn.
At what point do I actually intervene and ring someone official or stage an intervention? I will attempt to sit down with her again and tell her how serious it is but I will feel it will be falling on deaf ears again.
But if I ring the officials that could really backfire as well. ... Read the answer
22 May 2013
Hey Jude, I was wondering if you could give my advice on how to move on from a troubled past?... Read the answer