DEAR ABBY: It's Tuesday, 3:22 a.m., and I'm wide awake, not by choice. I live downstairs from some newlyweds, "Ike" and "Tina," who moved into our apartment building a few weeks ago. This is the second time I've been awakened by their fighting. I hear loud thumps and bangs and cries from both of them. Because we leave our windows ajar at night, we can also hear what they are shouting at each other.
I am well aware that Ike has hit Tina on more than one occasion. The first time, I was tempted to run upstairs and "save" her. This time, I'm lying here wondering if I should call the police or write a personal note and leave it under the door.
I don't want to embarrass anyone or cause more problems. But I do want them to stop fighting. It breaks my heart. Ike apologizes, then Tina yells and he cries, and she says she wants to leave, and he begs her to stay. I hear the whole thing.
I know the best thing would be to suggest counseling, but that's not my place. I have never met them. I'd hate for something worse to happen, and I refuse to be like half the people here in Los Angeles and just sit and watch the violence go by. So what should I do? Please answer soon. I don't think I can handle much more of this. -- SLEEPLESS IN L.A.
DEAR SLEEPLESS: Someone would be doing this young wife a favor if he or she could catch her when her husband isn't around and tell her plainly that batterers don't break the habit without professional help, and she needs to get out of there before she is seriously injured.
If that's not possible, then the next time you hear "thumping," you should definitely summon the police. Law enforcement officers are trained to handle these kinds of situations, which are potentially life-threatening. The husband could be high on something, or a psychopath. Under no circumstances should you try to intervene because it could be physically dangerous for you.