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Friday, August 22, 2008

Warring

I suspect there's some kind of abuse going on in the building next to my office.

Our offices are built inside an old historic mansion in a residential area, and so the neighboring building is an apartment complex.

For the past three days, I've heard much screaming and yelling coming from the apartment complex, even with my window closed. One voice is that of a little girl, probably around 7-9, and the other voice is that of a man, probably her father or caretaker.

Three days ago, I stepped out onto the back deck of our offices to water my potted lime tree, and I heard the man declare loudly and deliberately, "You're a fucking whore, and I'm sick of it!" I tried to see which apartment the voice was coming from, but there's a large tree between our buildings that obscured my view. At first I assumed it was a lover's dispute, but when I went back inside and sat at my desk, I heard the screams of the young girl followed by more yelling from the man.

It's hard to know what a child's screams mean. Children scream bloody murder at play all the time. But these screams have become a morning ritual, and with the addition of occasional loud yelling from the man, I'm led to believe these might be screams of abuse and not screams of play.

I'm not really sure what, if anything, there is to do about it at this time. I'm kind of hoping that some neighbor in the complex will find the noise loud enough to call in a disturbance complaint to the police. If I could identify which unit the sounds are coming from, I might do it myself. But at this point, I don't really know what's going on enough to formally complain.

One thing's for sure: Whether this is physical or emotional abuse or not, yelling is never an acceptable way to express anger, frustration, or disagreement. It only escalates matters.



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12 comments:

Karen said...

Please call the police. Do not wait on this. Tell them exactly what you just told us. They can interview people in the building and find out which apartment has a young child in it. This sounds like a very abusive situation to me, and you might be able to make a difference - even if it's the cops scaring that asshole a little.

little red said...

That's so scary! I don't know if you know this or not, (I just barely learned it a few days ago myself) but you are required by law, as a citizen, to report any possible situation of abuse to a child to DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services, or your state's equivalent). Seriously, I agree with Karen. Don't feel like you're the one that should make the decision of whether or not it is "real enough." Let the authorities decide -- it's their job and they are trained to make that decision. Follow your gut.

Zac said...

Probably the thing to do is report it. Especially if there's another incident. Even if you can't identify the apartment, other witnesses may be able to, or there may be a known history at that location, and your story provides corroboration for the overall picture.

heidikins said...

I used to live in that apartment complex. West side, top floor, facing the street. And there are a LOT of crazies that live there. I don't know if I could handle a screaming child though.

xox

Loralee Choate said...

I grew up in a very angry house.

I hope someone helps this kid.

Melliferous Pants said...

That poor little girl. Have you reported this to the police yet? You don't need to have the exact apartment number for them...it's there job to investigate.

Claire said...

Yeah, that's hinky deluxe. I, too, grew up in The House That Anger Built, and some timely intervention would've helped.

Call the cops - although I would make sure the cops are brought in when Mr. Screamy is in flagrante delicto (in the criminal sense), as being caught anything other than red-handed might simply lead to circumspect abuse rather than an end to it.

Sra said...

Well, the good news so far is I think I've identified which unit the sounds are coming from.

I'll let you know how this proceeds.

Melliferous Pants said...

That poor little girl. Have you reported this to the police yet? You don't need to have the exact apartment number for them...it's there job to investigate.

Zac said...

Probably the thing to do is report it. Especially if there's another incident. Even if you can't identify the apartment, other witnesses may be able to, or there may be a known history at that location, and your story provides corroboration for the overall picture.

little red said...

That's so scary! I don't know if you know this or not, (I just barely learned it a few days ago myself) but you are required by law, as a citizen, to report any possible situation of abuse to a child to DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services, or your state's equivalent). Seriously, I agree with Karen. Don't feel like you're the one that should make the decision of whether or not it is "real enough." Let the authorities decide -- it's their job and they are trained to make that decision. Follow your gut.

Karen said...

Please call the police. Do not wait on this. Tell them exactly what you just told us. They can interview people in the building and find out which apartment has a young child in it. This sounds like a very abusive situation to me, and you might be able to make a difference - even if it's the cops scaring that asshole a little.

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