Many not sure what's going on next door

May 13, 2013, 9:24 PM GMT+0

Many Americans don't think they would know if abuse was taking place next door - even though most know who their neighbors are.

After three young women escaped from Ariel Castro's house in Cleveland after years of forced imprisonment, it emerged that many neighbors had suspected that something was wrong in the house. Police say that they never received reports from neighbors, but the case draws attention to how neighbors can really ever know what goes on behind closed doors.

The latest YouGov research shows that slightly more Americans feel that they would not know than would know if domestic abuse was taking place in the homes of their closest neighbors. 50% say that they would not know about domestic abuse taking place while 40% think that they would.

Domestic abuse

People in apartments are more likely to say that they would know if abuse was taking place nearby, with 51% saying that would know compared to 37% of people living in houses or duplexes.

10% of Americans say that they speak with all five of their closest neighbors regularly but 27% say that they have no regular interaction with neighbors. The most significant difference is between the young and the eldery. Only 13% of people aged 18 to 29 regularly talk to three or more of their closest five neighbors, compared to 48% among people aged over 65.

Talking to neighbors