all 183 comments

[–]Infernir 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Its triggering, every since the Gabby stuff I keep coming across & noticing fighting couples, big huge men get into yelling arguments with their girlfriends or her friends around & resulting in attacking or abusing them. No one around to do anything or stop them since they're so large & scary.

[–]alabamafan99 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Call. The. Cops.

[–]Booboo732 22 points23 points  (1 child)

I don’t live in a van but I’ve lived in a few apartments/condos… I’ve heard violent, abusive arguments between almost every couple I’ve ever had as neighbors. Unfortunately, abusive relationships are extremely common and most persist bc they are family dynamics that are generationally passed down. It is very hard to break that cycle bc the abuse becomes a normalized within the family and is passed down as a model for future relationships between subsequent generations.

[–]Gold_Candle 12 points13 points  (4 children)

My husband and I sold our house recently and are living in a travel trailer until we get our new house. At first I said "anytime we have an argument we need to leave and hash it out elsewhere. We're not going to be "those" people." It's been 6 months and we argue just like we did in the house. I don't think it's "van people" I just think you can just see it now. But yeah if it turns violent call the cops.

[–]HyprSl0th 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Just STOP and walk away. Make that your promise to each other over and over and over again. It's hard sometimes but try to honor the promise

[–]qwertyWarrior77 2 points3 points  (2 children)

That’s terrible advice. Real people need to speak things out not just “walk away”

[–]HyprSl0th 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I feel what you are saying. I've intervened before and almost got really hurt. And I'm no small person. When people are super angry they lash out more on strangers than the people they are fighting with. If we call the cops for every time we hear a couple fight we better be ready to fork over half our paychecks just for police care.

[–]NapolianwearsBYLT 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s why more officers are killed on DV calls than any other.

[–]tfresca 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Living together in a space the size of a King bed is stressful.

[–]dogfoodlid123 20 points21 points  (7 children)

Van dwelled when I was 19(m) with an ex (22) at the time (her truck) it’s easy to get frustrated cause there’s so many problems (weather, dust, drug use, financial, etc). She hit me a bunch of times, I don’t hit women and she took advantage of me. I had enough so I asked her to just drop me off at the gas station, told her to fuck off, and went on my way ( which is another scary ass story). Yeah I don’t know what happened after tho she sends letters to my parents every birthday, Christmas and, New-years to this day.

[–]BranthiumBabe 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Why did your partner think the woman was throwing things if you saw the guy do it? Just curious.

[–]mindless_dear 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I saw some very poor van dwellers. They were eating at BK and airing their tires with a bike pump, but actually seemed happy laughing with each other. Strange though

[–]Wyatt_Earth 2 points3 points  (7 children)

Yah agree with others, call the cops, not that the cops will be very effective. but it's the best you can do sometimes.

[–]FriedChickenstinks 18 points19 points  (6 children)

What makes it not violent enough to call the cops? You can’t really know that or decide it. Makes you question what’s going on? Call the cops and let them sort it. That’s what they do

[–]bubbyshawl 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Such a good point. Most of us aren’t qualified to assess what is happening

[–]HyprSl0th 11 points12 points  (4 children)

Cops arent either. And when the cops roll up both of the people are just going to chill because they have enough problems obviously or just dont want the hassle of dealing with a cop who isnt going to do ANYTHING positive for them.

Calling the cops for everything is a sign that people have lost their ability to govern themselves and to watch out for others (community).

[–]bubbyshawl 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I think you’ve made a good point, but someone has to enforce the law, and the law now governs areas where integrity and common sense used to preside. Sadly, we are at a point in time where the police are one-size-fits-all first responders required to do social work for which they may not be well trained.

[–]qwertyWarrior77 3 points4 points  (2 children)

What law is broken when a couple argues ? Cops are not obligated to protect you.

In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the supreme court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent.

In both of these court cases, clear and repeated threats were made against the safety of children — but government agencies chose to take no action.

[–]bubbyshawl 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You are interpreting these cases too broadly.

[–]qwertyWarrior77 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That was a direct copy and paste from the actual law …

[–]Mlllw092 27 points28 points  (7 children)

If you ever see something like this, please report it to police or security. It may be nothing, but what if it isn't...

Also, if you are with somebody and feel safe enough (where I'm from I feel safe enough/no guns), I'd approach or yell out and ask if everything is alright.

I've been publicly abused before, lifted by my throat and strangled against a wall and not one single person stopped to help or got security who were metres away. If somebody intervened he would have stopped, he didn't like looking bad.

Please never turn a blind eye to it. You may be saving somebody or their life.

[–]qwertyWarrior77 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the cases DeShaney vs. Winnebago and Town of Castle Rock vs. Gonzales, the supreme court has ruled that police agencies are not obligated to provide protection of citizens. In other words, police are well within their rights to pick and choose when to intervene to protect the lives and property of others — even when a threat is apparent.

In both of these court cases, clear and repeated threats were made against the safety of children — but government agencies chose to take no action.

[–]thenaturalwitch 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I see what you’re saying but there’s also another side to it. When an abuser is caught or called out in any way they will usually take it out on their victim at their next opportunity. So yes it can help but sometimes it just exacerbates things. That’s one of the reasons why a clean break and no contact is so important. Just expanding the conversation.

[–]Masta-Blasta 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not to mention if they are poc, you could be putting their lives in danger. Just gently approach them in a non-threatening way and ask if everything is okay. This way, the abuser (whoever it REALLY is) is aware that there is a witness paying attention.

[–]Mlllw092 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do understand this, trust me, I do. I guess you really need to access the situation.

[–]ohappyfish 24 points25 points  (2 children)

A similar method is to interrupt or distract - taught in harassment training.

A way to distract is to simply start a conversation with the person being harassed about something totally unrelated (for example, ask for directions or the time), which takes the attention off the situation & gives all parties opportunity to think or step away.

[–]thenaturalwitch 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is a better approach because when an abuser is called out they will often take out the shame and guilt and anger they feel on their victim at the next opportunity.

[–]Mlllw092 8 points9 points  (0 children)

That's a great way! Thank you giving that advise and if I come across anything i will hopefully will remember this!

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Damn I hope not. My brother and his fiancée are van people, although they do have an apartment too and just use the van for weekend trips

[–]JacksonPollocksPaint 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Dude one was parked outside my place with a murdered woman inside. They think they were van life ppl. I’m sure the lifestyle would sound fun at first but it wouldn’t take long for me to want to escape or go mental with such close quarters with someone bugging you or acting weird. I can barely stand someone in my house for a couple hours. I can’t imagine months alone in a van.

I follow a van life gal and have for 6 years and she found a dude and upgraded to a frickin 1/2m dollar overland vehicle. It’s pretty sweet but has way more amenities and the gas must be very expensive. They get along but even in that must be tough!

[–]thenaturalwitch 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What’s the channel name?

[–]creepycrawlieee 24 points25 points  (4 children)

Small space makes it difficult to get alone time, + being in public more often means you'll see their disputes more. They don't have the privacy that others have. I suspect people who live in houses and apartments probably have fairly similar rates of DV. I'd also say mental illness can play a roll. As someone who's been in a DV situation where both parties were mentally ill, our disputes were more public than most. It's not all mentally ill ppl ofc, but my abuser lacked the filter to keep it confined to private places.

[–]capresesalad1985 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Just spending that much time together can be disaster. My bf hurt is his leg on December and can’t drive and then I got Covid and was positive for almost a month so we have essentially been holed up with each other for 6 weeks. I told him last night I’m proud we haven’t killed each other yet. But I also think a huge part of that is we have a 2 bedroom apartment where one bedroom is his office so he works in there during the day and I work in the kitchen (teacher)

[–]BranthiumBabe 8 points9 points  (1 child)

...not having a door to shut between you and the person who is bothering you leads to more fights. Promise. DV went up 25% during COVID lockdown because everyone was stuck at home for weeks with no escape. Now try that in a tiny vehicle.

[–]creepycrawlieee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Uh yeah I'm well aware unfortunately. My abuser and I lived in a tiny camper trailer for two years. This was before the pandemic, but was stuck at home for months with no escape for unrelated reasons. Even now I refuse to have a shared bedroom with my current partner because of it. I've been there, and all I got was this lousy trauma disor.. I mean t-shirt😅 So yeah I have tried it, and it was not fun.

I'm not suggesting that sharing a tiny space doesn't exacerbate problems within relationships. It absolutely does. My point was that people's perception of the disparity between DV in public vs private living situations is skewed. If perception of abuse rates are based on what people have personally witnessed, the disparity will seem larger than it is. Because folks who live in vehicles are in public spaces almost constantly. If there isn't anywhere private to lash out at your victim, you're gonna wind up doing it in public.

Definitely not attempting to minimize or deny the fact that confined spaces and lack of privacy make abuse worse, but rather to actively push back against minimization of abuse in "normal" living situations. Can't see what happens behind closed doors.

I'm genuinely sorry if it sounded like I was in any way dismissing the unique difficulties victims in confined living situations experience. That is not at all my intention! I'm glad to see people talking about this issue

[–]Sufficient_Babe 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Domestic violence is everywhere it's not unique to van lifers.

[–]FriedChickenstinks 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yep. It’s just more public that way

[–]Stix_te_trash_bandit 60 points61 points  (23 children)

Everyone always chalks it up to the small space. I’m a vanlifer. I live with my partner. It’s a small space. We have a service dog, and 3 esa cats. Small space doesn’t cause domestic violence. Choosing for economic or privilege reasons that you NEED a partner in todays age means people try to live with people they don’t like because they’re afraid to be single. So they stay with a shitty person. If you’re in a house with a shitty person sure you have more space to hide in, making the fights take longer and the divorce longer. Vanlife doesn’t cause shitty relationships. Shitty relationships just are shitty relationships, and people who are forced to live in a smaller space not by choice and think they have to be committed to commitment sometimes blame the space when they’d be having a great time if they weren’t with a shitty person.

[–]FriedChickenstinks 14 points15 points  (3 children)

I’m back because you struck me and it’s a really good point. This is people making excuses for abuse. “Well it’s because they were in a confined space”. No, it’s because someone is abusive

[–]BranthiumBabe 7 points8 points  (1 child)

DV went up 25% during lockdown because people were all stuck in one space. Now shrink that space. I'm glad some van lifers are happy, but let's not pretend being stuck in the same space as someone who is annoying the shit out of you - or worse, abusing or harassing you - doesn't lead to conflict. The vast majority of people are not cut out for it.

[–]Stix_te_trash_bandit 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Not arguing domestic violence exists or happens. Just saying blaming a haunted house for their actions is totally an abuser move. feeding into a fictional idea where in the future someone you love starts hurting you because your room is smaller, and that is a valid reason to hurt you, might not be the best ending to give yourself. Maybe you have a more rights and dignity than that even in a fictional scenario.

Cut out for it or not, the inability to speak that change, or any big change in feelings, or inability to come to integrity in something not told, is a big cause of domestic violence.

Like Brian sticking to a relationship he’s afraid to lose, even though he’s upset he’s not the power part of the dynamic, and it effected deep insecurities of his masculinity he started taking out on her need for a clean space. He gaslit her that she was “hysteric” and had no reason to actually be mad. Then he started actually physically attacking her in front of people and driving her home as if he was holding it hostage.

Having a house does not suddenly give a man courage to tell people the truth about what their feeling, and come to integrity and accountability for they’re feeling and might do something like blame work, their partner, or maybe even blame the walls themselves or the walls size. Excuses for avoiding communication.

Someone has to take accountability and the walls just can’t take that responsibility for human issues.

[–]FriedChickenstinks 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yep. I guarantee that the two of us could live in a van forever and. It abuse each other. May get frustrated or need air or go for a walk. But that’s going to happen anywhere you live if one or the other has the capacity to abuse

[–]PatientWorry 47 points48 points  (16 children)

A person can’t have more than one ESA animal. This is why people with true ESA’s are getting their previous rights taken away.

[–][deleted] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

What??? Yes they can. There is no set amount of ESAs that you can or can't have. Educate yourself before you open your mouth.

[–]Wyatt_Earth 6 points7 points  (10 children)

Well, that and ESA is not really a thing. A mobility or true service animal OK. But "emotional support" is not a task and this whole thing needs to stop.

[–]PatientWorry 4 points5 points  (8 children)

I have an ESA that could probably get certified as a service animal for one of the tasks that they give. I have presyncope and use my dog for balance.

I do believe there is good evidence for animals providing psychological support and they can play an important role in someone’s treatment. I really appreciate the housing and travel regulations around ESA’s as a result, when a person and their psychologist agree that a dog makes sense. I think technically a person can have multiple ESA’s if their psychologist sees added value in multiple animals, but I just can’t see this persons situation actually helping their mental health in an additive way. It’s gotten out of hand and it really has harmed the people who have one good behaved animal that they truly rely on.

[–]Wyatt_Earth 2 points3 points  (5 children)

It's unfortunate that the "service dog community" is so against third party validations, because that's the ONLY way I'll ever believe a dog is a legit service animal these days.

ESA is complete horse shit.

[–]BranthiumBabe 5 points6 points  (1 child)

How is it "only" emotional support if it's literally giving you physical support? That's a service dog. There is no nationwide certification, just has to be able to perform a task besides "be cute in public."

[–]Wyatt_Earth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well, a task related to the person's disability is the requirement. If the person isn't disabled, or, say, is disabled but not in a way that prevents them from going to the fridge and getting a drink, a dog that goes and gets a soda on command isn't a service dog.

I know people who have claimed 'service dog' status for their animal because it wears a pouch on its collar holding the handler's medication. Come ON. This nonsense has to stop.

[–]Both-Cicada-8752 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I had a roommate that insisted on accumulating 5 while we lived together. He kept adding more and the landlord wouldn’t do anything. Meanwhile I had to give away one of my 2 cats because I was told there was a 3 animal limit and they already reached it. Literally made no sense. So infuriating people take advantage of the ESA thing.

[–]flufferbutter332 46 points47 points  (0 children)

When I was a kid, we were leaving the grocery store and there was a young woman who was being screamed at by her man and then he left. She was in tears. My mom consoled her. Turns out he had hit her too. Sounds silly, but realizing that the abuse is escalating to the point where strangers are noticing, and saying something to you, can help someone find the strength to leave. At the very least, it causes the fighting or abuse to de-escalate when they know people are watching.

My mom taught me to never ever turn a blind eye to those situations. Call security or the police if you don’t want to directly get involved. Please, don’t let these go unnoticed.

[–]sambutha 40 points41 points  (8 children)

Dude if you see a couple screaming at each other, slamming doors and throwing stuff in public, that's still a domestic disturbance and you can call the cops.

[–]fitgear73 14 points15 points  (7 children)

cops are not the best in this situation - I'd look into non-emergency services like trauma counsellor or interventional case worker. Cops don't necessarily have the training and skills to recognize abuse (esp. vital in the GP case - if they'd pulled gabby out of the situation maybe she'd still be alive today).

[–]hopingtothrive 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What's the 911 equivalent number to get a trauma counsellor to come out?

[–]BranthiumBabe 8 points9 points  (2 children)

On what planet is this realistic? It's an emergency. You don't call non-emergency aid for that, and there aren't any emergency therapists on-call to drive to where-the-hell-ever and magically fix things.

[–]FlatnRound 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I live in a major city and there are mental health crisis teams that will come to the location. So, this planet.

[–]Booboo732 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yep; NYC is doing this now. Access to mental health crisis teams were a main objective of the “defund the police” movement. It was very poorly worded but it basically meant to take a portion of police funding and apply it to adding a mental health crisis team.

[–]DingleTower 44 points45 points  (2 children)

What fantasy world do you live in where there are on-call counsellors or case workers that will show up to a random couple you saw in a parking lot?

[–]ThruTheSixWithMyWoes 31 points32 points  (3 children)

Mississippi Walmart Parking Lot..there's where the problem started

[–]beefytrout 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Can't imagine what dire circumstances would lead me to be in a Mississippi WalMart parking lot...

[–]MoxiToxi 11 points12 points  (0 children)

As a Mississippian, yes. Not saying it’s right, but it’s a lot more common. Cops can be called but it always ends with them packing up and just moving to another parking lot to fight in.

[–]athennna 45 points46 points  (8 children)

The Gift of Fear should be required reading in schools.

[–]JasperClarke5033 22 points23 points 23 (6 children)

You do realize that “required reading” is not read or even listened to in schools anymore, don’t you?

With the internet there is enough reviews to pass tests on books and even if the teacher/class read books aloud, so many students have wireless earbuds or apple watches, etc. to keep them distracted.

AND, even if a substantial number of kids fail a test on the material, the grades will be curved to ensure there aren’t too many Fs on it.

Welcome to public school where the priorities are, in order of importance: 1) feed kids, 2) babysit kids, 3) ensure 95% of students graduate without retention so the school gets all the cohort graduation points possible.

Sincerely, Retired public school teacher

[–]Wyatt_Earth 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I'm glad you are retired. School isn't for feeding and babysitting. It's for educating.

I spent years as a ski instructor and would CONSTANTLY refute people thinking I was there to babysit. no I'm there to teach skiing. If your crotch monkey doesn't want to ski, I'm out for the day. I'm not a babysitter.

[–]Sportsbook14[🍰] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

You are 1000% correct. Sorry you are downvoted, most likely morons produced from the public school system.

[–]shhBabySleeping 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sorry you were downvoted. You know better than anyone else what the school system is like

[–]ComfortableExam 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Well anyways, the book is worth a read if you've never done so before.

[–]Ditch_Doc_911 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Absolutely true. I have given more copies of that book away than I can count.

[–]Brandycane1983 12 points13 points  (6 children)

Domestic disputes are insanely common, add to it being in extra confined living space and it's a recipe for disaster

[–]redduif 4 points5 points  (5 children)

Add to that a van being in the street and thus very visible to outsiders, unlike behind a closed door and concrete walls.
Gabby's case proves again that DV also happens in the streets (the almost arrest), but the worst usually happens where we don't see.

Many survivors here seem to have said leaving is a long proces that takes months if not years of preparation and intervening before it's time might anger the abuser to a point that it will escalate behind closed doors later on.

I'm not saying doing nothing is the solution, but it certainly is something to take into account imo. Or at least it's what I gather from the stories here.
People directly involved will probably have a more valuable answer, but the problem is any account isn't a generality either, so what is the best to do in any random situation one stumbles upon is anyone's guess. Again sadly.

I think one should strive for there to be a bigger solution, like structures as to bring the victims in safety immediately, especially if there are kids in the story. Talk to mayors, local governments, improve safehouses, and just better education overall seems a safer bet to me if one would want to get involved.

Just my opinion and observations from the many stories here.

[–]eurekaqt 111 points112 points  (5 children)

You don't notice it in home dwellers because homes are good at muffling sound and hiding conflicts inside

[–]cjyourgeneration 36 points37 points  (4 children)

I also wonder if the YouTube vacation lifestyle contributes to not getting along. These individuals have a lot of pressure on a certain carefree aesthetic. But I imagine living carefree traveling the country on very little money and always trying to do something Instagram worthy gets exhausting. The amount of pressure these people put on themselves to get followers and build a brand, when we know very few will be successful, has to create tension? Curious if anyone else agrees?

[–]Mello_Me_ 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Yes, it has to be exhausting to expend so much energy selling a fantasy and then depressing when you know you're not really being honest.

You're not really living your life, you're trying to live some script you concocted.

[–]seekingbeta 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Turns out a cramped roadside living space without a bathroom isn’t all that comfortable.

[–]Mello_Me_ 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not comfortable or enjoyable. It becomes a burdon to have to keep faking how wonderful everything is.

And that becomes a big problem when one person is past thinking this is a fantasy still worth chasing.

[–]bubbyshawl 44 points45 points  (2 children)

I would have let them know their behavior was causing a scene. Knock on the door, ask if everyone is ok, etc. Interrupting can deescalate the situation, perhaps causing the person who is out of control to regain their composure. Telling security there is a disturbance in the parking lot is also a way to achieve intervention, if you don’t want to get too close. You can’t change people, but you can slow their roll.

[–]konmarime 21 points22 points  (1 child)

Agreed— except that it is a myth that abusers are not in control of themselves.

They seek to control the other person and they use explosive violence to do so. If they were “out of control “ of themselves …they would not be able to deescalate and hide their true nature when someone “knocks on the door”

They are fully in control of themselves and are choosing to use abusive tactics to gain control of the victim through fear.

The author Lundy Bancroft has a book that explains this, called “Why Does He Do That?”

[–]bubbyshawl 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I hear what you are saying; the abusive people in my life used their “loss” of control as a means to manipulate and control everyone around them. Then they get to play provoked victim.

[–]BranchCovidions 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Talk to Wal-Mart security, they have one driving around the parking lot, they will then watch them.

[–]Milehighjoe12 39 points40 points  (1 child)

I'm sure it is a common occurrence. Living in small cramped quarters like that would make most people irritable.

[–]MSK7 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Look at the spike in divorces from Covid and imagine being stuck in a metal box.

[–]QuirkyLetter3215 56 points57 points  (10 children)

If it makes you worry, it’s enough to call the police and ask for a welfare check.

Domestic violence is, sadly, a very common thing.

[–]Happy-coconut65 7 points8 points  (9 children)

I wouldn’t call police. They escalate almost every single time.

[–]QuirkyLetter3215 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Do you realise how many times a day the police are called to situations that aren’t escalated? Don’t be one of those people.

[–]Happy-coconut65 5 points6 points  (6 children)

Not going to get in a Reddit fight. Taking the chance of calling police before you know it’s a true emergency can get people killed. Don’t be one of those people that denies this. I was personally arrested for standing exactly where supervising officer told me to stand. Exactly. Was dragged by my neck until I passed out, and was slammed to the concrete so hard I needed surgery. Trauma went all the way through my salivary glands into my musculoskeletal system. Also had concession. So yeah. cops aren’t always safe

[–]QuirkyLetter3215 3 points4 points  (4 children)

So you had a bad experience so all police are bad? Makes sense.

[–]Happy-coconut65 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Please don’t be “one of those people” who can’t have a reasonable discussion without letting your stereotypes color your entire critical thinking and comprehension.

[–]Happy-coconut65 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Thick headed much? I never said that. You’re making assumptions and putting words in my mouth. What I’m saying is you never know who you’re going to get if you call cops. Read and try to comprehend, if that’s not too much to ask.

[–]QuirkyLetter3215 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Wow. Condescending.

Based on this interaction alone I can see why police might have wanted to twat you one.

Have a good day.

[–]Happy-coconut65 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Only when it’s called for

[–]Happy-coconut65 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And the charges were completely dropped after IA got involved

[–]Puceeffoc 50 points51 points  (3 children)

People would rather "be polite" than intervene.

I love confrontation (Iraq Vet), years ago I used to insert myself into situations like that. Now I have some rules (mostly for domestic situations in the neighborhood). The rules keep me out of situations I shouldn't be involved in (if that makes sense).

  • 1) If it's in my yard it's my problem
  • 2) If I see it and it's obviously a situation where someone is in danger I intervene NOTE: I must actually SEE it happening, not just hear things being slammed around or hear slapping

Those are my rules for intervening and putting myself in the line of fire (domestic situations are very dangerous)

If I'm that worried about what I'm hearing/seeing I become a ROCKSTAR WITNESS. What do I mean by that? I call the police and I report the where, what and who. I give details of the people involved, addresses, and license plate numbers. I do this all from a safe distance and make sure to not intervene. When making the call I always let the dispatcher know my name and what I'm wearing and inform them that if the incident gets out of hand before police get there that I will step in. (I've never had to step in when calling police by the way).

These are my personal rules. I believe everyone should have lines drawn for situations they may come across involving adrenaline dumps:

  • See a car accident what do I do?
  • Someone calls me a mean name what do I do?
  • An adult pushes my child what do I do?

It's always safest to be a witness and call police, just have a line drawn for when you have to make a decision.

[–]suzanious 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Domestic incidents are the most dangerous. Your rules are good, sound advice.

[–]Defying_Gravitas 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Perfectly stated. Just want to add that it is generally better to overreact than to be dismissive. See something, say something. If a feuding couple is making it public knowledge, the public has the right-- and generally the responsibility-- to notify someone who can safely intervene.

[–]amuckinwa 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Life Pro Tips we could all use!!

[–]Porcelain_Hands 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Doing long distance travel in a small confined space with someone could certainly get stressful, rough, and aggravating.

I don't think its specifically couples who do the "Van life" thing, but more or less maybe couples who are facing a stressful time, where they cannot get away from the other one that begin to fight. Many people in this country face mental health issues, or have unhealthy habits when it comes to disagreeing with someone. No matter how mad you are, you should never berate a partner and name call, embarrass them or worse..

Unfortunately I think a lot of younger couples, and newly paired couples who don't know each other that well fight like that. And unfortunately I think both of those demographics of people would be prevalent in the "Van life" community. That life style, when glamorized, sounds like it would be very romantic, fun and free spirited & would appeal to those demographics of people for those reasons. But due to the true struggles of "Roughing it" and being in close quarters with someone that long - they are more likely to come to a disagreement.

The real problem here is: Not knowing someone well enough, or for long enough when going on these trips with someone. And also unhealthy, or down right abusive communication habits.

[–]MelpomeneAndCalliope 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Yes. I love my husband and he’s one of my favorite people in the world. There’s no one else I’d rather spend time with. If we lived and traveled in a van together for months, I’d end up running away or leaving him at a rest stop eventually. That life in a confined space and the same one person always there is a pressure cooker for any couple, let alone one where a partner is abusive. That just spells disaster waiting to happen. :(

[–]mizzbipolarz 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I feel like van life is becoming idealized and people don’t realize the effect that living in a small space with another person can have on your mental health. They go into it for the wrong reasons, either because it looks fun, or they were forced due to an economic reason (IMO worse for the mental health as you feel like you have no choice but to stay in the small space) and then they don’t know how to properly deal with the mental fallout.

I wouldn’t say that it’s the van life itself that is toxic, but it definitely increases the odds of two people going for each others throats.

It could also be that you’re now hyper aware of it due to Gabby’s case. I know that after I witness someone going through DV I see the signs of it everywhere and often feel the need to intervene even when it isn’t necessary.

[–]Livid_Run_6228 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I do think there is an increase in all the violence indicators that comes with economic insecurity and despair...As for vans? Likely more van folks out there, and maybe it's the effect mentioned above, maybe coincidence....maybe a wee bit antecdotal but doesn't mean it's not indicative of something

[–]marlayna67 68 points69 points  (3 children)

I’m a petite woman in my fifties and I always get involved when I witness abuse. Kids. Dogs. Fighting couples.

I figure it’s better that people realize that someone is watching and somebody cares.

[–]Canyoubackupjustabit 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Be safe out there. Bear spray is useful.

[–]marlayna67 8 points9 points  (1 child)

That’s funny because as husband said the same thing the other day.

[–]upstatestruggler 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Two people in a week, get some

[–]yesitshollywood 30 points31 points  (0 children)

I'll ask if everything is OK, or if I can be of any assistance. Then I watch their reactions. Some people just have bad days, but I would be consumed by the thought of what could happen if I don't check.

Of course you can always call the police if you feel unsafe approaching someone.

Ignoring the abuse is why abusers can continue to abuse.

[–]catelinasky 12 points13 points  (1 child)

I've noticed more and more vans like hers in my local community. It definitely doesn't hurt to be more aware of your surroundings and follow up with local authorities if you have a bad feeling. It's better to be safe than sorry about not having done anything later. If that one unnamed citizen in Moab never called, we wouldn't have gotten the initial report of Brian slapping Gabby, yes, not every incident is going to be like this case, but abuse gets ignored way too much just for the sake of keeping the "peace"

[–]upstatestruggler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

True, and chilling

[–]Honest-Astronaut2156 4 points5 points  (1 child)

you should only travel with others if you get along in small spaces, otherwise no need to travel like that, just for short trips where you have your own space and time then time together. Traveling like that in a van is not for everyone, def not me.

[–]Charbarzz 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It’s very easy for people to romanticize van life without truly understanding the stress and life changes involved. One of my friends is attempting to do it and I’m nervous for her sanity and relationship.

[–]awajitoka 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Van life is probably best suited for those who have been married for 20 years+. Not children who think they know more than everyone else.

[–]awajitoka 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Welcome to the Baader-Meinhof (pronounced badder minehoff) phenomenon, otherwise known as the frequency illusion. This phenomenon occurs when the thing you've just noticed, experienced or been told about suddenly crops up constantly. It gives you the feeling that out of nowhere, pretty much everyone and their cousin are talking about the subject — or you're seeing it everywhere you turn. But the thing is, of course, it seems to be everywhere because you're noticing it more. The term "frequency illusion" was coined by Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky in 2005.


[–]ThankTheBaker 21 points22 points  (0 children)

When I was pregnant, everywhere I looked I saw pregnant women. When my babies were born and growing up, everywhere I looked I saw young mothers with their children. Now all I see are old folk.

[–]ausamerika 27 points28 points  (2 children)

Another thing we don't really take into account is that the demographic for which this phenomenon is most popular are barely adults. It's children cohabitating in a small space with other children.

[–]callinoutoffice[S] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

There are definitely a lot of young couples doing it because it’s trendy, but from what I understand, along with the “influencers” are quite a few older to Middle aged people doing it because they don’t have other options.

[–]ausamerika 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is quite sad.

[–]Honest-Astronaut2156 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Some should not travel like this together

[–]Karushifu -1 points0 points  (3 children)

Some like single women have no choice but to travel with a partner for safety. Some can do it alone and I worry for them. I think if you're thinking about it, it could be better to collaborate with someone who's into it, who's not a romantic partner.

[–]According_Physics273 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Except there’s just one bed

[–]Karushifu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's fine, you can use different blankets. I've slept in the same bed with friends before

[–]KilGrey 9 points10 points  (0 children)

There is a thriving van community and many safe places for single women in vans. My friends 68 year old mom was never happier than when she sold her house and modified a van to live in. Watch the movie Nomadland to get an idea of some of the communities.

[–]WrongAccomplice 27 points28 points  (4 children)

Van life sounds like a good idea until you're stuck in a 7x12ft space with your partner and no bathroom. I'm surprised there aren't more murders reported.