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Aunty Bella: Mrs Should I Call the Police?



????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Aunty Bella is our agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice as well.


This comment was posted underneath an article today, and has only been amended to correct grammar:

So we (my hubby and I) live on the 3rd floor of our apartment building. Needless, to say we live in a very good neighborhood and not to diss any race but there are not many people of color in the area as whole and not in the apartment complex.

A “couple” of African-American descent moved in recently with a daughter this girl should be 14 years old at most. They live on the ground floor.

I was walking downstairs on my way to work when I heard people arguing, my Naija self slowed down. I am not about to get shot but I heard a man say, “So you gonna pull a knife on me?” you know I slowed down some more. Well, pretty much this little girl had pulled a knife on the guy because he was hitting her mum and to defend her mum she pulled a knife on the guy. Now I don’t know if this guy is her father but he told her cursing her out with the F-word over and over again to have pulled her knife on her mother that he hit the woman for a reason. This guy walks off, I think he is leaving but I leave enough space between this guy and me.

I walk to my car but I see this guy coming back going towards the house (you know he is not going back there for laughs and giggles). I am trying to report this anonymously but what gets me is my husband’s reaction. He believes I am taking it too seriously by reporting “something that is not by business”.

I don’t care that it is not my business it is obvious that this is not the first time this is happening and I don’t want to wait till someone gets killed before doing something. I know our Naija mentality just wants to sit back and do nothing but I can’t. Many people die because neighbors have refused to do anything.

– D

BN Readers, should she call the police?

Photo Credit: Tangducminh | Dreamstime


  1. NIRA

    October 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Please Please Please, report to the Police. Let there be an intervention while somebody is still alive, don’t wait till one person kills the other before you do something.

  2. Uju

    October 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Please call the police! You can report this anonymously. Do not wait till you hear the lady or her daughter has been murdered. The situation must be desperately bad for the little girl to pull out a knife. Please help them in any way you can.

    In this case be your brother’s keeper holds true.

  3. Jane

    October 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    Call the police. Surprised your hubby didn’t intervene…if you were in that situation with your daughter…won’t you be grateful for some intervention? Or a call to the police from a neighbor? What are neighbors for?

    • oj

      October 13, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      i’m not surprised her husband did not intervene. what if the idiot had shot him for interfering? Please call the police, they are trained to handle this type of incidence.

  4. miss tee

    October 13, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Pls call the police…personally i am tired of reading about women who have died at the hands of violent partners, my eyes hurt from looking at pics of battered and bruised women day after day…for this child to feel the need to pull a knife, then its not nothing!!

  5. baby

    October 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    report to the police ASAP…..u dont need to be a witness but u will be saving a life.. yes in naija that might put u in trouble but not where u are….i live in the UK and i sure know someone wil call the police, yes they do amebo like that…..tell the police u dont want to be named but u believe they should check it out……..the reason we dont move forward in naija is cos people bury their heads in the sand……oyibos didnt get where they are overnight….

  6. Thatgidigirl

    October 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    While i’m against domestic abuse, you also need to think of your safety before reporting to the police. What if he knows you were the one that called the police? I’m assuming he saw you as well? If this psycho knows where you live and knows your car….its dicey.

  7. D

    October 13, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Update: So I contacted the Domestic Violence line…men, this law business is a something else. So now pretty much all hands are tied. Since the victim(s) did not report it there is not much that can be done. Child protective services can be called in but that means the victim could lose custody of her own child. I was told going to the police should be the last resort for a couple reasons. First my safety, this was 6am in the morning and I was the only one that witnessed this and the abuser saw me and saw my car so he will know who reported it “anonymously” . Secondly, since the lady/ child are yet to report it, it might escalate the situation for both of them and push the woman into the arms of the dude some more. I am getting a headache just thinking about it.

    • NIRA

      October 13, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Hmmm…. this is dicey indeed. unfortunately, most victims of abuse do not report. Hope you told them about the child pulling a knife on the man?? Now I feel so helpless. You can try befriending the woman and then encourage her to report to the police. Please don’t give up on them, somebody will die one day if nothing is done to stop the abuse.

    • slice

      October 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      i give you huge credit for thinking about calling and for calling the hotline. You have tried. Personal safety is always paramount so to the extent you think calling 911 may harm you, i completely understand. the unfortunate thing is that some cps and police personnel can be quite incompetent. if not, i would have advised calling cps. For example, CPS could reach out to the girl while she’s in school and at least let her know she can always call them if anything happens. but they’d more than likely just march in there and try to take the child. without enough evidence, the effort will fail and child will be back in the arms of an abuser

    • iba

      October 13, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Maybe u should be like me and just mind your business here. Nor be naija you dey o; shebi na USA when anybody fit carry gun? Your husband advised you and u nor gree hear word. Goodluck

  8. deb

    October 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Please call the police anonymously. Thank you.

  9. Goody

    October 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    call 911 ASAP

  10. nwa babii

    October 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Reporting anonymously is good..don’t even mention to your hubby. One day on your way out by yourself call the police and tell.them..

  11. beauty

    October 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Oh yea, you should have called the police! For you being there at that particular time when all the brouhaha was going on was not mere coincidence my dear,YES you should have called the police. Since you even wanted to do it anonymously, all the better.

  12. chi-e-z

    October 13, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Because you said AA I’m assuming this is in the states.Now we have to take into account U.S. law which knowing a little on similar situation has to take someone into custody overnight during domestic dispute situation but if the woman doesn’t corroborate your story will have to wait typically a few weeks for a hearing to issue s restraining order which does not necessarily mean the man is not liable to come back and harm her assuming she reported him. Well report as a concerned neighbor (no names needed) give as much info as you feel is warranted for the situation without increasing hostility in the aftermath so that when the cops come they’ll explain there was a complaint of domestic abuse by man to his wife and he’ll just assume it’s a female oyibo neighbor taking you and her off the hook.Of course they’ll ask for your name and contact info just give them the neighbor with dispute address and say you’ll rather not get involved futher.I’ll suggest borrowing a neighbor phone so it doesn’t get tracked back to you if this happens to become a big shot news/case.

  13. AJ

    October 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    PLEASE report it ASAP

  14. beea

    October 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    I have been in your shoes so i know how difficult it can be, especially when you don’t want to make things worse for the woman involved or be fingered as the ‘reporter’. It really is a fine line. I lived in a flat share with a couple that were just about to get married. One Saturday morning, I woke up to loud voices and sounds like someone was being hit. I contemplated calling the police for about 5minutes but the Naija in me won and I decided to knock on their door instead, hoping that the reminder that someone was next door would possibly calm things down. The dude opened the door and the wild expression on his face and his growled ‘Whaaaat” made me shrink back. He shut the door and things did calm down. In the aftermath though, I remember thinking: what if he was holding a knife or a gun and had attacked me? or he had landed a blow on my heavily pregnant belly?Perhaps I should have called the police.
    Thank God none of these played out. But even now in retrospect, I may still not have called the police because they would have known it was me and who knows what he could have done to me in retaliation?
    Sadly, the Indian girl involved came out after a bit and was apologizing saying he didn’t hit her, he was only hitting the walls and scattering things. They went to India barely a month later to get married. Every once in a while when the incidence crosses my mind, I say a little prayer for her and hope he doesn’t end up being the death of her.
    If ever you can do it completely anonymously, please do. But I wont advice you to endanger yourself or your family.

  15. el patron

    October 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Why are you licking panadol for another person’s headache? Haven’t you watched bad neighbors ?
    Face your warrant..All these AA’s they know law more than the law makers.
    She knows what to do but she doesn’t want to lose him, So Madame your husband is right,face you work.

  16. Wifey

    October 14, 2014 at 5:50 am

    PLEASE STOP telling her to report to the police. Did you see her update? She said she was the only one around at 6:00am when this happened, and the man saw her face and her car.

    Baby girl. don’t put your life in jeapardy. If it happens again (and the man does not see you), call police immediately. YOu can say they are disturbing the peace. In fact… make sure you mention they are black. The police will be there in seconds. (*hiss*)

    Child services is a tough one. The woman has to be ready to put the man out of the house. If not, she may side, or even protect her abuser. This issue of abuse is never as easy as it seems..

  17. Leo

    October 20, 2014 at 11:27 am

    What are u waiting for, pls call the police and do it fast, before someone gets hurt or even killed.
    maybe he went 2 his car to get he gun, who know

  18. Diuto

    November 25, 2014 at 9:17 am

    You are simply an oaf. May no one help you when you need it .

    • Diuto

      November 25, 2014 at 9:23 am

      The comment above is 4 iba

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