Jan. 22nd, 2013

tanarill: (Default)
I have been thinking about them, since yesterday. And the place that society ought to have in private lives, and what happens when it slides too far to either direction.

Yesterday, at about 2 PM, someone in my apartment complex began screaming at the top of her lungs. After a few minutes, I went to go see what was up. She was pretty incoherent, I thought, until I got close enough and realized that, no, she just wasn't shouting in English. But after determining which apartment it was, I began knocking on the door until her roommate admitted me, and pretty much barged in to her room.

The roommate did not want to; they were a couple, he said, and this was a couple's quarrel.

She had been crying, plainly, and her boyfriend would not meet my eyes. At this point two other students, a male named Aaron and a female whose name I do not know, joined me. All three of us tried to persuade the girl to come out, but she just kept insisting that everything was fine, so we left the apartment, but stayed closeby outside.

Aaron called the cops.

And all I can say is that the polices here don't take reports of possible domestic violence lightly, because they were there in minutes. In those minutes, we'd heard a loud thunk, and Aaron had been prepared to break down the doors to get in. We certainly did not leave the girl in there, or alone until the cops showed, because regardless of what she said she was Not Okay. Once the police arrived, about the same time as we were bringing her out, we turned the whole situation over to not-amateurs.

All three of the people in that apartment - the boyfriend, the girl, and the roommate, were Asian and from Asia; at the very least, they did not have the best control of the English language. They seemed genuinely shocked that random strangers would break into someone's apartment because of a simple quarrel. Or call the police. Or have the police respond.

I recognize that there are some places police don't belong: your religion, your political ideology, your sexual orientation, are all things that are nobody's damn business. I fight hard for that, the belief that the right-wing conservatives have to right to run this or any other country according to some magical book. I believe everyone has a right to a private home, free from some kind of Orwellian overseer monitoring one's every moves.

But.

Most cases of rape go unreported. Help lines for people who need to get out are busy full-time and they only cover the ones who are brave enough to say, "Yes, I need help." I heard a story about how North Korean domestic violence is a. skyrocketing b. nearly never reported and c. rarely acted on even when reported because "it's a family problem."

Maybe it is, and it is almost certain than, wherever the three Asians mentioned above were from, there would have been no response. Not here, though; and if this kind of culture clash shocks them, I am viciously glad of it.

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