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What to do if You're a Victim of a Neighbour's Violence

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 3 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Neighbour Assault Neighbour Physical

Most disputes between neighbours can usually be resolved between each other and, even if things might have got a bit heated, there will, more often than not, be a solution or compromise which can be agreed to by both parties once the dust has settled.

Disputes Between Neighbours are commonplace, and the police will not normally get involved unless a crime has been committed or a situation has escalated to the point where a crime is likely to occur.

On rare occasions, however, tempers can become frayed to such an extent that one neighbour may lose their self control and become violent, which could result in a physical assault. In very extreme circumstances, an attack can occur ‘out of the blue’ and can be apparently unprovoked.

What You Should Do if You Are Physically Attacked by a Neighbour

If you find yourself in a position where you are being attacked by a neighbour, your immediate thoughts should be of making as much noise as possible to alert other neighbours close by who might be able to come to your assistance. Defending yourself to avoid serious injury is also a priority, and it will very much be a judgement call on your part as to whether fighting back is the right thing to do. However, the most important aspect you need to concern yourself with is getting to safety and away from the attacker.

Calling The Police

Once any assault is over, call the police. Obviously, in doing this, you need to ensure that you’re satisfied that you want to Get The Police Involved. If the violence was relatively minor, or you’ve reason to believe there were mitigating circumstances for the violent assault – your neighbour being drunk, for example – you may decide to leave the police out of the situation for the time being and wait until things have settled down sufficiently enough for you to go and discuss the situation with your neighbour in a calmer, more rational manner.

That said, you should also bear in mind that an assault is a crime, no matter what the circumstances are, so you should never feel the slightest bit of guilt in calling the police if you have been the victim of a neighbour’s violence if that’s the decision you choose to make.

Seek Treatment If Needed

If the violence necessitates you needing hospital treatment, go to the hospital straight away or have someone take you there. If you decide to press charges later, the more evidence that an assault has taken place in terms of medical records and, perhaps, photographic evidence of the nature of your injuries, the better it will be for you. If you don't need to seek treatment but still wish to press charges, you'll need to call the police anyway, who may also wish to take any photographs which might help in securing a conviction later.

Getting Counselling

Some people can be so shocked and traumatised as a result of being physically attacked and, especially by someone whom they know and who lives close by, that they may need counselling later. Therefore, once you’ve physically recovered from any attack, this is something you might wish to consider.

Being attacked by a neighbour is, thankfully, quite rare, but it does happen from time to time. It’s therefore important to understand that, for the most part, these kind of physical assaults are often preventable if you think about how to approach any disputes or disagreements you might become engaged with in the first place.

Neighbour-on-neighbour violence is more often provoked by both sides becoming very heated about a situation to the point where neither side is willing to compromise or to walk away when a dispute threatens to get out of hand. Therefore, it’s always better to try to calmly and rationally discuss any differences and to try to reach a compromise before tempers flare, or to walk away and to say that you’ll come back and discuss things another time when both of you can have a civilised discussion.

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After 3 weeks of endless music pounding through the ceiling i approached my neighbor at his door to ask him if he wouldn't mind taking the bass out. he produced a kitchen knife an began to wildly wave it my face stating i shouldn't knock on his door its his flat an he can do as he please's an if i was too ever knock his door again ill not be going downstairs under my own free will... 20 mins later he is booting on my door calling me all the names under the sun threatening to stab me up i didn't respond, Just barricaded myself indoor's had to suffer music all night long. next day i find a nice note carved into my door threatening to execute me. i've contacted my letting agency an made a complaint. i'm now looking to move out ASAP i feel involving the police will only make matters worse we both gotta live in these flat's an they can't be there 24/7 to keep the peace.
paul - 3-Oct-19 @ 10:36 PM
i live in a council flat the lady up stairs owns her home she assulted me last year which i let go because of her age she rents her flat from her son and she bullies me and makes threats all the time and keep reporting me to council for no reason i have not had peace in my own home since i moved in 3 years ago i ahve been to council but nothing seems to get done about her violent and bad behaviour i am friend ith my other neighbour who live up stairs and the woman who is the bullie keeps telling me im not allowed in the top landing to visit my friend what can i do about her and what are my legal rights
susie - 7-Aug-19 @ 10:45 PM
My upstairs neighbour attacked twice in the space of 24 hours. He has mental health issues such as depression, psychosis and also drink and drug addictions and suicidal thoughts. He was sectioned recently but since been released and I have been trying to support and help him because I also have mental health issues but he turned violent and paranoid with me late last night when I was in his flat. He said he knows his girlfriend is in the flat and I was talking to her but she wasn't there - he was hallucinating. He locked me in the flat and refused to let me go until I admitted that I was talking to her and that was there. I tried to peacefully reassure him that only me and him were there but he lashed out by punching me twice in the chest and held a penknife towards me. Eventually he calmed down and let me go and apologised several times and I accepted his apology. He then was messaging me all night trying to arrange a 3some between me, him and his ex girlfriend. He asked me to message her and I did but sent him a screenshot of the message. However, when he came downstairs to me in the morning he then looked at my phoned and lashed out again being all paranoid accusing me of sleeping with her and having an affair with. I've never met this woman by the way. He then punched me several times in the chest, neck and face and grabbed me by the chest and hair and threw me to the ground. Luckily, a workman was there servicing the internal fire systems and intervened which saved my life because I think he would've killed me otherwise. I managed to run away because I didn't want to fight him cuz I knew he would've got the better off me and I didn't want any trouble. I ran to the local leisure centre and called the police who took a statement but because I felt sorry for him and his mental health, I decided not to press charges but later changed my mind and ran them back up but they said no charges can be pressed and they will only talk to him. I also phoned my housing association and they said I've got to go back there but I refused and said I will still pay all the bills. I was so terrified and I'm still scared to go back there because he will do it again or worse. I am going to keep searching for a mutual exchange online. What else can I do?
ry19an - 31-Jul-19 @ 12:28 PM
i have been extorted by neighbors and their family for more than 10 years and when i finally refused to comply with their terms, they had their friends attack my wife and i when we arrived at our home, i was told i was going to be killed and my wife assaulted as well as have my vehicle and home taken because they wanted my car and my yard with a fence so they could get a dog. guess what race these "people" are. so after the assault i called the police these "people" all stated i threatened and attacked them. i was arrested and am being prosecuted, i had previously reported harrasment and vandalism as well as tresspassing by these individuals one of whom is supposed to be incarcerated but allowed to freely leave the facility at will and another wanted for escape, the police did NOTHING, and when i confronted them in front of the police they threatened me and stated we can do whater we want., again the police did nothing the entire incident was captured on home security video even where the police supervisor conspired with them to allow for their assault on my family.corruption in this "free" country is absolutely disgusting.
fedup - 31-Jul-19 @ 8:13 AM
My neighbor hit me with a axe handle and told the cops i hit his wife which i didnt. The police wouldnt arrest or anything. Then while i was getting stitches at the hospital he tried to break into the house on my wife. Sje calledthe cops and again nothing happened. We are prisoners in our home
Ran - 29-Jul-19 @ 11:44 AM
I was recently pushed twice by neighbor..a man ..and verbally threatened ..and when i called the police they said they were taking a report.. I had marks on my arms..and even when they said well wed have to take you both to jail.. they did not arrest him.. all the people saw and he lied...and they convinced the police not to arrest him..wtf??
D - 29-Jul-19 @ 5:08 AM
Hi, I am widow I have 3 children I moved in this property 2 years ago and that time my husband was alive after spending 5 months in this property my husband passed away since then my neighbours are very bad with me they have problem with everything my children can't play in their own property they always swear at me I don't know what to do I am so depressed I am taking antidepressan tables.i can't even park my car on the road they think road is their property I can't do anything I am like a prisoner in any own house I am crying day and night.
Ajk ppp - 15-Jul-19 @ 3:49 PM
I was recently assaulted by my neighbor,I called the Hamilton police and the cops didn't charge him for bruiseing me up there response was people lie all the time I have been assaulted a second time having him break my glasses bruise my arms up but I can assure everyone here he won't touch me a third time
Livelivelaugh - 26-Jun-19 @ 4:28 AM
I was assaulted by my neighbour.I rang the police. They said they were too buisy.And to go to hospital. 8 weeks later I was having brain surgery. Off work for 3 months . The police did very little but lent a sympathetic ear ? I am moving house I can't wait to move to get my life and ideals back on track.The UK police are under resourced 729 murders last year . I was nearly one of those statistics myself. The assault was unprovoked.
Stupot - 7-Mar-19 @ 7:48 AM
My neighbours have moved in since 2016. Ever since they have complained when ive had family over and kids playing. When that was dealt with they complained about closing the front door. They say its too loud which i cant help come winter time it goes stiff. Police got involved after the lady opened my car door and abused me. Mediator resolved it and 6mnths yesterday she came banging on the door. Complained! I disnt want to hear it as my kids were scared so closed the door. She started getting abusive and banging on door window i thought she was going to break it. Called police coming out today. Im so scared to leave house. Shes renting whilst this is my own home. I cant leave. Any advice please as im scared and have little kids. My hisband works evenings to nights so is never home and we dont like confrontation.
XxxX - 1-Dec-18 @ 2:03 PM
I was assaulted by my neighbors & 2 of their friends. I suffered severe concussion, punched in the head, bitten & almost had my eye scratched out. My partner has alzheimers/vascular dementia & he saw it. Subsequently he fell down the stairs smashing his head open after suffering a stroke, caused by the stress of these bullies. They have cost us a lot of money over 17 years with untold damage to our property, especially the cars. And all because of jealousy. They have never worked & live on benefits. My partner & I have always worked & sweated for what we have. The police, housing association & local MP won't do anything but pass the buck amongst themselves. What is wrong with this picture - I just don't get why they won't do something about these degenerates. Simple solution - Just move them. If they do it somewhere else, then eviction should happen. Why would housing associations want people like these as tenants. It's beyond me. I have seriously thought of committing suicide & taking my partner with me. At least we'd both be at peace
Peg - 11-Oct-18 @ 8:56 AM
I was punched in the back by my next door neighbor when I was returning to my apartment after throwing out the garbage in May. He used his knuckles when he punched me and I almost fell down the stairs near my apartment. I told him it was assault and that I was going to call the police, but I never called the police because I was scared. I am an older woman living alone and most people who live here are Hispanic, including management. The situation is not getting better, but I am afraid what will happen to me if I say anything. The people who live next door are always having the manager over for drinks, etc. My only income is Social Security and I can't afford to move. Right now the man that punched me is standing outside my apartment on his phone.
Chris - 23-Sep-18 @ 10:25 PM
So basically. Neighbors can bully, threaten, and most reciently i heard a neighbor break down a door and assault the man in his own home. My son visited and the same maleneighbore who did the asdult rubbed his butt on my sons truck, drew him out to taunt him more. Camaras are now installed. I am hearing police treat this like they treat battered wemon. Go home and dont provoke him anymore. Move away from all who know because the abuser has more power. And lets not forget the most important thing society wants battered wemon and children to know. Others own and control you, the street and shelters re alreadyy too full. Thanks for the article but the problem is bullies. Its abuse with people that have more rights than another because of property, gender or mental illness. We all deserve to have rights to be safe. I do have solutions but then legal rights of one over another seem to fall into play leaving police at a stand still. Courts and jail are a joke.No wonder battered people fight back. Im not living in fear from a neighbore
Bond - 18-Aug-18 @ 5:29 PM
Hiya hoping for some advice. We have a neighbour who suffers from mental health issues. Every weekend she gets absolutely out of her mind with drink, falling about the communal areas, shouting screaming throwing things through her window aggressive to all the neighbours where the police after arrest her. Last night she smashed up a greenhouse throwing things the plants where dragged out. I told the owner then I rang the police and ambulance because of the amount of blood on the floor and what I could see on her. But I never approached her at that time. But later she was walking down the road and all the neighbours came out to see the damage. Which was awful. She then appeared again laughing and shouting and decided to get in my face as I told her to get inside her home.Wish I hadn't she lunged at me tore my dress ripped my necklace off and then slugged me. My neighbours pulled her off and I was shaking I sat down mean while the police landed. She as been arrested and iv given my statement as I want her prosicuted. But I feel bad because she is ill. This is not the first time we have had problems it's every week with her. On Monday am getting in touch with our Houseing officer anti social behaviour team. What else can be done.
Chezza - 15-Jul-18 @ 6:12 AM
i was attacked by my a neighbour while i was on my way too pick my disabled child up from school. she was screaming and physically assulting me leaving my with bruises and marks on me also spat in my face, i called the police as i was frightened for mine and my child's safety two female officers came and said that i wasnt assulted enough for them to make an arrest but will bring her in on her own time yet its been 3 weeks since she assulted me and i still fear going anywhwere with or without my child. They took a statement off me and said they would be back for an impacked statement but yet heard nothing off nobody for 2 and half weeks what a joke
stac - 26-Jun-18 @ 9:35 AM
police won't do nothing. I'm going to take care of the problem myself and do the time if I have to. that's what happens when police don't uphold the LAW and put good people in peril when they don't because the law prevents people from protecting themselves and they say " oh we're the police we will handle law breakers and you CAN'T! because if you do we will arrest you". see? good people are screwed over. just take care of bad people yourself.its the principle of it all.
K - 14-May-18 @ 12:10 PM
addition, the fifth attack was only thwarted as I was in the back of an ambulance already, what I find is an absolute joke is that police released them only for them to immediately continue their harrasment, I am now living in the hope that they upset the wrong people now as I think karma is due.
phil - 8-May-18 @ 8:02 PM
I have been attacked by neigbours several times had repeated threats repeated robberies including agravated burglary, had my children attacked police have done next to nothing, 3rd and 4th february got attacked 4 times in 24 hour period by the same two men, both of whom abviously have class a drug problems and are basicaly neigbours, the problem is I think incidents like these are becoming widespread through out the uk, I was left with a broken nose, fractured cheek bone teeth knocked out and 15 to 20 stitches in my mouth (upper lip) obviously these appear to be hardcore career criminals, to be so persistant in their activities, since they moved into this block of flats many people have left, surely the authorities realise this, so the system is flawed people should be safe in their own homes, it should be the criminals who get moved on, not the other way around, no ownder people are becoming homeless.
phil - 8-May-18 @ 7:58 PM
Hi was assaulted by a neighbour she punched me to my head and pulled me to the floor and punched me kicked me in the head pulling my hair out out I called police and they came 2 days later I had to have a c.t scan and treatment to myeye which I am still under going .this happened in July 30 2017it went to court and got adjourned I then went again and the witnesses never turned up so go dismissedI need help to get moved I am a council tenant who lives in fear as the woman is puttingthing on the internet about me thanks for the addvice
Ellie pops - 2-May-18 @ 7:13 PM
schweineloeffel - Your Question:
My husband was attacked by a neighbor in the next garden. All he did was set up the lawn mower without turning it on. The neighbor rushed over grabbed my husband and started punching him. We were friends with this neighbor and had never had any disagreement with him whatsoever so we were quite shocked by the unexpected assault. We live in Germany where probably not much will happen to the perpetrator.

Our Response:
Did you contact the police? That's probably your best course of action in relation to a physical assault.
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Apr-18 @ 2:18 PM
My husband was attacked by a neighbor in the next garden. All he did was set up the lawn mower without turning it on. The neighbor rushed over grabbed my husband and started punching him. We were friends with this neighbor and had never had any disagreement with him whatsoever so we were quite shocked by the unexpected assault. We live in Germany where probably not much will happen to the perpetrator.
schweineloeffel - 24-Apr-18 @ 9:27 PM
My 70 yr old husband was attacked by a female when he was out with the dog just outside our house this was reported to the police and council neither have done anything apart from issue ref numbers !!
Andie - 21-Mar-18 @ 5:26 PM
Im disabled and suffering with my health. My son whom only 17 came to visit me my neighbour is an alcoholic and when she was drunk she decided to attack me and my son she was found guilty in court I have suffered for many years with her racist remarks and attacks this was the only time I took it to court and she was actually found guilty my housing association done nothing to help me but this time round and victim support with very helpful. But now my housing association have decided to move me I now have to up and leave I moved to Somewhere I don't know and leave that only support network I have which is my family who don't live far it's so unfair I don't see why my neighbour Can't Be Moved I also have to fork out for three weeks rent on the new property plus moving expenses which I really can't afford I'm also moving to a place where the nearest shop is a 35 minute walk and I don't drive it may be different if I wasn't disabled and my health wasn't so bad at the minute. I really need some advice as I believe it's so unfair can I get any help with moving expenses or even with paying the free week's rent before I move into this new place it's really got me depressed and my mental health is suffering. I really don't see why I feel like I'm being punished for what my neighbour has done to me and my son my son doesn't come and see me no more and has moved to Northern Ireland. He doesn't want to be attacked or being involved in any disputes with my neighbour my friends no longer come to see me as she always shouts abuse at them. This woman has made my life hell to the point I feel so isolated and I don't even leave my property anymore.
Lee - 20-Mar-18 @ 1:37 AM
I was attacked by my neighbour after me going to his door 4 times regarding noise when we moved in this was the most peaceful street. He has moved in he is polish and does nothing but shout and bang all day long and night. I went to his door again and he went absolutely mental and attacked me I have never seen anyone act this way an absolute lunatic to be honest. He was arrested and jailed for the night and is due in court unfortunately nothing has changed noise wise and we feel threatened and scared. The council are no help whatsoever don't seem interested at all and quite frankly the police were not much better. Yet at my partners work someone tried to steal cheese and they appeared 5 minutes later. I was attacked and it took them 6 hours. The system for dealing with this behaviour of noise etc needs to really be handled differently with the council threatening eviction straight away not years down the line when it's taken your sanity and quality of life. People end up taking things into hand and often end up in trouble as a result. The whole thing stinks and yet the trouble makers continue to get away with it they have no fear or remorse. Sad we all have to suffer !
Christriker - 21-Jan-18 @ 3:00 PM
My neighbour has traumatised my child due to shouting abuse at me, she’s had counselling it help a little but she carn’t sleep she hardly eats and she wishes she were dead I’m going to apply to the courts for a injunction I’m wondering if there were any chance I could get them evicted thank you
Coco - 15-Jan-18 @ 12:59 PM
I am a victim of neighbour assault and the way the police r dealing with it shocking it happened on the 26.11.17 the neighbour still hasnt been arrested for it police are useless as its paperwork they dont want to deal with it so had a txt saying the officer is back on duty on the 4.1.18 now
Dee - 30-Dec-17 @ 12:09 PM
I require some advice please my neighbors are very young 18-19 and they are part of a teenage gang, they get their friends to circle a car outside leaning on it when I put rubbish in the bins they swear obscenities at me. I am on computer now they are in apartment below me thumping ceiling as they know I am in, floorboards creak and I try to tiptoe round the place because, I am afraid of them. I stayed out of the apartment today as I couldnt handle another day of their attacks. they use sticks to bang on wall. since council close previous noise report for banging they wont re open it, now they are worse confrontational, they sub let too. their teenage gang friend sleep on sofa bed and thump the wall and use brooms to clang on ceiling and yell abuse. council refuse to do anything saying just teenagers they deserve an ASBO. I am quiet I wear headphones, slippers indoors, I have carpet underlay and rugs to make sure noise isnt bad, council have seen I have two rugs one on top the other in living room, across large walking areas and on hard floors kitchen same I have rugs. normal household tasks I cant do, I cant concentrate on my college studies as they thump the wall while I am sitting here and all I hear is boom thump boom clang, and laughing. even when they throw rubbish in the dustbin the bin rattles so loud I can hear it within the apartment. they have intent to threaten with violence and I have rung the police last night as they had a gang outside against car yelling abuse for no reason. what do I do, council refuse to help and the tenants are saying I am anti social! I am being accused Iive alone so. they side with them, yet they are bullies as I am older they call me this old B ugh ugly B ugh she has no style Ugh B. its horrible. I dress clean tidy and I dont look old for my age im young im just not a teenager of 18-19. their anger issues continue to shake the apartment and my stomache is in knots. I get little or no sleep as they up all night drinking and have taken over the apartment its theirs and they think they can do as they wish. help please
Grace - 4-Aug-17 @ 6:43 PM
My mother has been attacked 5 times by her next door police have done nothing please help
noop - 2-Jun-17 @ 1:42 PM
My husband was assaulted by my female neighbour, we called the police and they came 2 days after the attack! They went and spoke to her but she denied it and because there's no independent witnesses they haven't arrested her or anything ? How is this fair ? Please can someone give me some advice
Charlie - 23-Nov-16 @ 11:09 PM
I really need help and dont know whatto do.my family is being harresd we live in sharpsville gardens which os public houseing authorty and my son get beat up every day my wife cant leave house with out being told shes going to be killed my entire family are being calle white trash trailer trash and cracker by neibours the police department wont do anything and the manager of the place also wont do anything its to the point i cant let my kids out to play amd my wife is afreid to be out side she crys daily cause she cant go out and the kids cant go out nomore at allwhat can i do besides beating the shot out of them
chuck - 26-Sep-16 @ 3:04 PM
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