Updated: Apr 17, 2020
CRJI often deals with cases involving neighbourhood disputes, ranging from complaints over the neighbour's bins to assaults and acts of physical violence. Here we take a look at a recent case and how CRJI was able to help.
In this case, a client came to CRJI seeking help with problems she was having with her neighbours. While they originally had a decent relationship, the situation had deteriorated substantially in recent months and tensions were high, with individuals feeling that any upcoming confrontation might result in physical conflict. The parties described that most of the conflict stemmed from problems between their two young children. Both acknowledged that the children insult each other and attempt to antagonize each other, which causes the parents to come to the defence of their children, creating larger disagreements between the sets of parents. For example, one parent described how one child gave her daughter the fingers, which led to one parent swearing at the other parent, which then escalated into a shouting match in the street.
To further complicate the matter, some of the people involved were experiencing health problems, and the stress of the conflict was having severe implications on their well-being. Everyone was concerned about the growing nature of the conflict, the involvement of the community, and the increased likelihood of physical responses.
While the two families had initially tried to resolve problems on their own, attempting to restrict their children to their own homes to limit interaction, both families were unhappy as the current arrangement was not succeeding in preventing conflict and they wanted their children to be able to play outdoors. They acknowledged that they both wanted another solution but were unable to resolve matters on their own as relations had deteriorated too far and any interaction resulted in confrontation. Exhausted with the current conditions, one party reached out to CRJI for assistance.
CRJI facilitated a restorative mediation in which the participants sat down with each other to discuss their problems and experiences. At first, tensions were very high, however, CRJI practitioners were able to deescalate the situation and calm the parties down. Once they were calm, they were able to have a productive conversation and communicate effectively with each other. Both parties acknowledged that they did not want to fight and took responsibility for their past actions, apologizing to one another for their behaviour. CRJI assisted them in putting tangible agreements in place that would help mend the relationship and additionally prevent future conflict.
After speaking to both parties several weeks after the mediation, parties reported that no further incidents had arisen and that everything was peaceful.
CRJI often observes that issues start small but grow more serious and become more complicated when they are not addressed properly. It is import to resolve matters before they escalate, and early intervention can prevent more serious measures and harm. If you are experiencing conflict, we would encourage you to reach out to us to see how we can help!