Voices raising in tone and volume alerted me that something was happening. I turned down my TV to listen; gaging if danger was lurking near by. My building is usually so quiet and everyone gets along. There is a disturbance in The Force.
Military Police training in crisis intervention and domestic violence taught me when/if I needed to act. During the moments of evaluation, I checked what shoes I had on, located my cell phone, and noted my tire knocker near the door. Only seconds to act.
My apartment wall was now shaking from the force of something being slammed repeatedly. Time to act, Jedi.
Grabbing my cell phone, I headed in the direction of the escalating screaming while grabbing my “light saber” (tire knocker), I opened the door. I know how to use this as a baton, just in case.
Out in the hallway, I commanded “What in the hell is going on out here!” while getting into the correct mindset. Calm, assertive. The question was to alert whoever is in trouble that help was coming. I heard crying.
When I arrived at my neighbors door, I stood slightly to the left in case of stupidity or gunfire. I could see that someone was trying to close the door but couldn’t because the door catch was missing from the door frame. Violence had struck.
Through the door I stated that I was there to make sure the violence stopped. I noticed that for the first time ever, 5 other neighbors were standing outside of their doors watching.
She said, “Go away!”
I told her that I wasn’t going anywhere until I knew that everyone was alright. Are you alright? Do you need medical or the police? Come out. Let me see your face. I didn’t know who I was addressing; a victim or instigator. She told me no.
Then came the one statement I always hear in this situation, “This is none of your business!” Was she the reason the door doesn’t close?
I replied, “It is my business. It is our business. It became my business the moment the violence started happening and you brought it out into the hall. We won’t ignore this, ever. Some one will be at your door. We like quite here.”
I looked around to make sure no one was sneaking up on me, assessing escape routes and such. I felt like the woman on the other side of the door was leaning against it to make sure I didn’t go in. I could hear her sobs.
Again I asked “Are you alright? I live right next door. If you need my help, I am here.” She said no. I asked her once again to just let me see her face. Again she declined.
So, I finally stepped away and went back to my apartment to calm my bird down. He had been calling to me ever since he saw me leave my apartment.
I decided to call our management to leave them a message about the door to the apartment. Calmly, I explained briefly what I had done and that I believed that they would want to know about the damaged door.
It has been quiet ever since. Funny, I never saw one person from that apartment.
I place domestic violence with bullying. The only way it will stop is when the bully knows they will not go unnoticed. They have a neighbor that will intervene and neutralize the situation.
I get involved. I rely on my training and on my abilities to keep a cool head under pressure. Minding my own business is not an option when violence is happening within earshot.
Too many have died at the hands of a loved one because of people minding their own business.
I happen to know what happens on both sides of that door; from experience.