DEAR ABBY: I have always tried to be a compassionate person. I have experienced a lot of abuse, and I'm sensitive to others who go through it. A man across the street from me has been arrested three times in the last six months for domestic abuse. I rarely see a woman there, so I don't know if the victim is a woman or a child. I moved into the neighborhood only six months ago. My elderly mother lives here with me.
I'm torn about what to do. My heart says I should reach out to the people who live there and make friends with them. My head says stay out of their business because I don't need the drama.
How do we as a society not turn a blind eye to abuse in our neighborhoods and still protect ourselves and loved ones? I don't want to put my mother or myself in jeopardy, but I don't want the person/people in that house to think they are alone. -- NO MORE IN TEXAS
DEAR NO MORE: While I applaud you for being so caring, for your own safety, I caution you to proceed very slowly in getting to know these people. Some communities provide anonymous tip lines so citizens can report a crime without endangering themselves or their families. The best thing you can do is to keep your eyes open and if something is happening, call the police and report it. If it involves a child, contact child protective services.