Thin Walls Part One.
We have lovely neighbours, or so it seems on the surface. Our terraced houses are over one hundred years old, they are strong and well made. Our neighbour on my right we rarely hear, only occasionally do I hear them going up or down their stairs, as our stairs is next door to theirs. Our neighbour to the left, now that’s a different story, downstairs we have the entry between us and then its both our lounges, upstairs we have two bedrooms and it is next door to their two bedrooms too. In the kitchen downstairs this is opposite to their kitchen with a brick wall separating us, from our kitchen window I can only see the tops of their kitchen units but when I go into my lounge I can see into their kitchen the sink area. And from Megan’s bedroom window upstairs, I can see 40% of their kitchen. It is always spotless.
The couple that lives there, she is a lot younger than her husband. If I was to guess her age, I’d say she is about twenty three years old and he about fifty three years old. She is beautiful, she has a lovely smile and lovely waist length hair. He isn’t good looking, but that isn’t everything. It really is inside a person that counts, at the end of the day. Aatish moved in first, then about a year later Abeerah moved in, they are both originally from abroad, he speaks good English, when she first arrived for ages she just smiled, she didn’t speak any English at all. Then five years ago they had their first child, a girl and then a boy two years ago. Her English has improved a lot, now we can have conversations, back and forth, but I don’t see her that often for a chat and when I see her we usually just talk about the weather.
About twice a year, Aatish would bring round piping hot food that Abeerah made, it always looks and smells wonderful, but to this day I’ve not tasted any of it. At first I’d say to Paul, “You and the kids have it, I’m alright.” He’d reply, “There’s plenty for us all,” but still I didn’t have any. The reason I don’t have any is simple, domestic violence! What Aatish don’t realize is, that when he SHOUTS at Abeerah we all hear in our home. His rant’s sometimes go on for thirty minutes. That’s a long time to be very angry! Don’t get me wrong, we all get angry, but Paul had never shouted at me for thirty minutes!
Two years ago and last year was particularly bad, yes we could hear Abeerah shouting back, but we don’t hear her voice as much as we heard Aatish’s. Last year I heard him shout in English, “I DON’T LOVE YOU, I HATE YOU!” Of course both children are there too witnessing it, and usually I can hear both or one of the kids crying. It is painful to hear. I wish I could help, help him, help her, help the kids, ease the pain.
At first, I would still smile when I saw Aatish outside going to his car or putting the bins out the front ready for the bin men, but slowly and surely my smile back to him was less sincere and more fake, I would even pretend not to see him. I see him more, as he works and she does not. Sometimes I, wonder does she ever think her life was better in her native country, compared to the life she has now. What would her parents think, if they knew she was been ill treated in this disrespectful way?
A few times last year when he was yelling at Abeerah, I said to Paul, “What shall we do?” Paul replied, “If she screams then that is different to a shout, for a scream means she knows she is in danger!” I must admit I hadn’t given it much thought, but it was good to have perspective from another point of view. She didn’t scream. At least twice last year, I wanted to go to their friends house which is the neighbour to the right of us. I wanted to knock on their door and say, “Aatish is shouting at Abeerah and I fear for her life, go and stop him or I will call the police,” and if he didn’t intervene, then I would call the police. Aatish sounded out of control, his temper, made me nervous but who is going to tell him he needs help for his anger? I never did go next door, will see what this new year holds.
I haven’t explained why I never eat food from them nor will I ever, I have told Paul and to him it makes no difference and now I will tell you. If she is been abused in this awful way what would stop her spitting in his food? Sweet revenge! She doesn’t deserve this. But where could she go?
Today I looked on the internet and in The Guardian on-line an article a year ago it stated, “Men kill 900 women in six years. Most by their current or former partners, according to the first detailed analysis of deadly male violence against women in those countries.”
“The Femicide Census, which tracks and analyses the deaths of women killed by partners, ex-partners, male relatives, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers was developed by Nia, a charity dedicated to ending violence against women and Women’s Aid.”
“Between 2009 and 2015, 936 women were killed by men, the census found, of these, 598 (64%) were killed by their current or former partners and 75 (8%) by their sons. Polly Neate, the Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said, “The killing of women especially when women are killed by an abusive partner or ex-partner is often reported an an isolated incident. There is an abject failure to look at patterns of behaviour.”
“We accept fatal male violence as an inevitability not a conscious choice that a man has made to end a woman’s life. This dangerous culture needs to change we need to learn the lessons and by viewing theses cases of femicide altogether, we can learn.”
In a Refuge Charity for Women and Children Against Domestic Violence it states, “One woman in four experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Two Women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales. England and Wales Office for National Statistics (2016) Domestic Abuse In England and Wales year ending March 2016, Whilst this number is shocking, we also know it is grossly underestimated. The cap on the number of violent crimes published, set at five per victim, means that even if a women experienced one hundred incidents of domestic violence, only five would make it into the official data. Thanks to research by Professor Sylvia Walby, we know that were the cap to be removed, the incidents of domestic violence would increase by approximately 70%.”
After some pretty bad shouting’s, if it was me or Paul who eventually saw Abeerah first, say after three or four days, we would say, “I saw Abeerah, today he didn’t kill her!” I hope Abeerah never become a statistic. I haven’t put this article as age 18 as children around the World live in the real world, where violence is not presented to them in a nice certificate U.