Q:

My neighbours are often yelling

Hi Vic, my neighbours are often yelling and shouting at their very young children. There is a young woman who is the mother, and her father who is often away as he works as a truck driver. They are a bit "rough" and I don't want problems with neighbours, however I also don't want to be the person who did nothing.

Mainly I would like to extend some help whether moral support or practical support. 
How do you suggest I approach them and when, during a bad patch or some other time?


A:

Hallo, thank you for writing in with your question.

Your question is a dilemma for a lot of people. Do I intervene or not? 
Will they think I'm being a busybody? 
Is it my business? 
What if they tell me to f... off? 
What if they get violent?

All these questions and then most people end up doing nothing. I don't think this is you.

Your safety is paramount. Do NOT put yourself in an unsafe position. You could contact the Police and talk the issue out with their family violence team.

I personally would go over there, but I am a 6 foot tall Samoan male, when I felt ready. I would go with someone else so that there is both a male and female. I would take over some food or a gift for the kids. I would offer them the gift, introduce ourselves, and explain why I had come over and that as a neighbour I have heard what I have heard and I was concerned about the children. And as a neighbour is there anything I can do to help.

Then give the neighbour the opportunity to reply. If they tell me to get lost...I leave. If they want to talk, now or at another time, then let that roll and make it happen. And I wouldn't try to be a counsellor but someone that cares.

NOW

Be aware to not pass judgement, noting your comment ‘They are a bit "rough"'.

Your neighbour will probably have no understanding of what you are there to talk about. Be prepared for that and if the neighbour is wanting help then you may have to go on that journey together or be prepared with some information that you can find on our website.

Like I said earlier there is no shame in calling the Police or the Women's Refuge and letting them do the work.

At the end of the day it's about the little people that need a big person to CARE. I believe if you show that you care about them as people that you will get through to them.

Thank you for writing in.

Vic

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