If you heard a child crying or screaming nextdoor, and sensed the child was being physically abused, would you intervene in some way, or call the police, or do nothing and just mind your own business

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Most would do nothing and mind their own business imo. They’re just not readers of JT.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most would do nothing and mind their own business imo.

And what is it that you have based your opinion on?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This has only happened once to me. We called the 児童相談所 (child consultation center), which handles these things. They came and talked to my neighbors. Later, I offered them support if they needed some time without their kid to relax. Unfortunately they never took us up on that.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Call the police I think. Intervening myself would, I believe, put me into trouble, without guarantee the kid would be safe.

Saying that, I'm not even sure I would know if a child was abused. First, I never see any of my neighbours, second, hearing a child cry, I'm not sure I could tell the difference between abuse, sickness or tantrum.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Foreigners are outnumbered in Japan by a massive number. So what we would do as foreigners means very little after you crunch the numbers.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I would call the police. As a gaiijn, i would NEVER intervene. You are suspect number one in any situation.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Too many people ignore others especially in large cities like Tokyo. More citizens should help others in need.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Call the police, definitely. Unless the abuse is happening in front of you I wouldn't recommend intervening personally as you could end up with your head being kicked in. I have called the police on a neighbour who was beating his wife, you could hear what he was calling her in between her pleading for him to stop. He was arrested.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

As a parent of two young children I would be hesitant to intervene unless the evidence was overwhelming. Babies and small children cry and scream a lot - my three year old threw a tantrum yesterday because I couldn't get a YouTube video he wanted to watch to load fast enough for example.

So it wouldn't be crying/screaming that would make me intervene, but rather I would be looking for direct signs of abuse - parent's angrily yelling at kids, sounds of violence coming from the house, kids showing signs of physical abuse, Make American Great Again bumper stickers displayed on the family car, etc.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I once knocked on the door of a downstairs neighbor because a little kid wouldn't stop crying. He was trapped on their veranda begging to be let back in the house. I didn't know how long he'd been out there and after it went on for a while I couldn't just sit there and do nothing. It turns out it was his older sister, high school age, who had trapped him out there, and they were both home alone. She had a sour "yeah, so what?" attitude to me ha, but after our conversation she did let him in and I didn't hear anymore carrying on. Hopefully the realization that someone was watching/listening was a bit of a deterrent...who knows.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Personal intervention sounds good as well as brave, but if things turned violent towards me and I was forced to then defend myself, being a foreign resident I'd probably end up being the one arrested, charged and recommended for deportation by the police.

Thus, I'd choose to call the police first rather than personal intervention.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I mean if I was CERTAIN the child was being abused I would definitely call the police anonymously... but when my daughter was a baby she would scream bloody murder (sometimes to the point of making herself throw up) whenever she was separated from me, even for a minute or two. Luckily we only had one neighbor who was very understanding but if we weren't in contact I think it would have sounded like she was being abused. A child crying, even erratically, isn't necessarily a sign of abuse. I would also be cautious about getting involved with the police in any manner in Japan (as a foreigner) as you'd probably be seen as someone overreacting or making trouble rather than being genuinely concerned. If I was really convinced about the abuse I would get my Japanese family or friends to make the call tbh.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can only speak on my own situation, but it was pretty clear that the parents were going overboard. We could hear her being locked in the closet through the walls, apologizing to her parents. Then they locked her on the balcony when it was very cold. Our whole neighborhood knew that time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

From my own dealings (and friends) with the police...I would do absolutely nothing.

It's pretty clear what they think of foreigners and their disdain for our interfering in Japanese matters.

You try to do the right thing....

Once phoned in a drunk driver who had stopped off at a combini for more Chu-hi.

I did the right thing and took the keys from him until the keystones arrived. 2 stood laughing and joking with him whilst the other 3 interrogated me. Demanding where I worked and what such.

Never again.

I'd like to think if I was 100% sure a kid was being harmed that I'd do the right thing.

I can't honestly say I would. I'm just so in fear of the police here.

I'd probably tell the parents they were *'+%$ next time I saw them though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Strangerland, you werent perhaps neighbours to that little 5 yr old Yua and her monster parents were you? Sounds a lot like what happened to her. Even had child protection services come to try and talk to them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Do be careful calling the police on locals. You will often find yourself in trouble for doing so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Not if you use an non-traceable number/line. This is what we do to avoid identifying ourselves to the police.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'd like to add to my previous comment. Having lived here for quite a while, I've found that the Japanese to be extremely non-confrontational people in every walk of life. Whether you're dealing with teachers, police officers, people you work with, etc., when you inject yourself directly, you place yourself in a position to be used fully as a shield or deflector for others to use. Believe me, I've learned this lesson all to well over the years. Japanese do everything possible to avoid taking responsibility and they're more than happy to see you or somebody else shoulder the responsibility and blame in an emotional situation.

Moral of the story: If you inject yourself into an unpleasant altercation in Japan, be prepared to become a direct participant of the altercation in question.

Believe me I know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I once saw a little boy, aged threeish or less, wandering about by himself. I couldn't see a responsible adult with him at all. I went to the koban just a short distance away to explain, and even pointed to where the kid was, and the copper just blankly stared at me, unmoved and unmoving, and did fa. Useless. The kid's grandma came after him a few minutes later. Could have been too late.

This is a good question though - I like to think I would be responsible, but it's easy to say that. We need a sea change re. people's attitudes towards seeing bad things done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your comments force me to say that I would intervene only for a matter of life or death situation.

Japan is doomed in view of behaviours where no one is helping each other...sad

Never happened to me yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your comments force me to say that I would intervene only for a matter of life or death situation.

I don't think so. I've been in the situation asked about in the topic question, and I don't think it was a life or death situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have heard my neighbours screaming and breaking things, I went outside and looked in their window. The other neighbour called the police. They pretended no one was home and the police had to leave but the message was clear that we wont put up with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

StrangerlandJune 11  07:59 am JST **Most would do nothing and mind their own business imo. And what is it that you have based your opinion on?**

Because that's the way it's always been in Japan in situations like this. If not, you'd see Japanese males punching out chikan on trains.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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