Don’t be that neighbour

Although I am not sure why, the notice took me by surprise. Domestic abuse is frighteningly common in South Africa and we often hear horrific stories. What comes to mind is the young couple who went to Rosebank Police Station. Police had been called to the couples house for a domestic dispute and brought them back to the station to open a case. The man went to his car, got out his gun and proceeded to shoot the woman before turning the gun on himself.

I also remember a Lonehill story where a woman was stabbed to death by her stalker ex-boyfriend in front of security.

We live in a dangerous country – road rage cases seem to be common, murder and rape cases are filed daily, and now, well we have to deal with friends and family who are out to get us too.

While I am pretty confident my life is in no danger as a result of a domestic dispute – so many other lives are.

Sitting on my patio the other day, my fiancé and I heard a mother shouting at her young son who had become hysterical. The mother sounded desperate. I wanted to go and knock on her door, but as most Joburgers do, I stayed out of it. Was that the right thing to do? My conscience is divided. I don’t believe the mother was on the verge of murdering her son – but maybe she needed help after a long day. Maybe she had been worn thin and needed someone to talk to and calm her down. I guess I will never know the answer to that question.

I would urge all residents to report violence, you never know – your phone call to the police or security might be just the thing that saves a life. You might think you are overreacting, but then again, you might have been under-reacting your entire life. We don’t know what goes on behind our neighbours’ walls – and while no one likes a nosey neighbour, rather stand up and take note of a situation than wake up the next morning and find out it is too late.

Would you like it if your neighbour came knocking at your door with concerns – or would you go knocking on someone else’s door?

Megan McLean
Group Editor

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