Q:

Should I have called Police?

Hi Vic. This is a question/situation from the other side of the fence (literally). We moved into a new house eight months ago, heated arguments between the couple next door became a frequent noise in the neighbourhood, mainly from the male partner. One evening it got really bad and I looked over to their property and witnessed him slap her across the face with the baby in her arms. 

I at this point felt morally obligated to do something and get involved. I called the police and that ball started to roll, they took my statement and we haven't heard anything since from the police (February). We have now received four letters from "next door" pleading for us to drop the charge. CYFS have got involved and she has been made to get employment whilst having three children (according to the letters). The letters involve many guilt-ing attempts and other abuse, so I'm now at the point where I have doubted my actions were correct and have been too harsh on them. I understand the necessities in keeping the family unit together and only wished for him to get anger management and support for the children (one with special needs). Going to the police with these letters will only make it worse for him/them. 

What do I do? Will withdrawing the statement stop the ball from rolling? Do I write a letter to them explaining my position and request them to leave us alone? I don't wish to further harm their family unit, but at the same time, this is an all too common thing in New Zealand and I must also look out for the safety of my partner and our property. I don't think officially they know I made the statement only that our house has the view into where the incident took place. They have gone through our letter box to gain my name (and the tenant before).I would greatly appreciate your advice on my situation. Thanks for your time.


A:

Hi. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For taking the stand that you have against the family violence that you have seen and witnessed happening next door.

The protection of women and babies in our homes, streets, neighbourhoods, communities and country is the responsibility of the whole country.

For too long now we have been cowards and as a country taking the view that "it's none of our business".

For me this is the cowardly social commentary of MEN in Aotearoa/NZ who continue to perpetrate and keep hidden the scourge of this country's FAMILY VIOLENCE.

Well it's not OK and the country needs more people like YOU that will not tolerate this anymore.
I stand in awe of you and what you have done.

NARKING is a good thing cos you have saved the life of that woman, that child and in the long term the life of that man

Yes you have literally saved his life as well.

He will now have to go and get help and my hope is that he finds a stopping violence programme, a programme that is really good and confronts him on his violent and abusive attitude and behaviour.
Now that you have informed the Police and they are involved it is out of your hands.

Do not retract your statement, do not back down, do not make any contact with them.

Should they continue to send these letters to you or in any way threaten you, your partner or family, ring our information line on 0800 456 450 and get the information on the possibility of getting a court order against them to keep yourself safe.

The Campaign is serious about ending family violence in this country and we are in all areas of the country and all levels of society, in schools, in businesses, in prisons both to prisoners and staff, in the faith communities, community organisations, government departments and so on.

One of the ways we do this is to raise up men champions in the communities that have been there and done that and are now violence free, supported, affirmed and confirmed by our families to end family violence

You are a champion. Feel good that you have done what is right.

Family Violence is not OK. It's Ok to Help your Neighbour.

Vic

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