Friday, February 14, 2014

Do Something - The Bystander Effect - Diffusion of Responsibility

You are in a place full of people and you hear somebody cry out for help. What do you do?

There is a term in psychology called, "The Bystander Effect" also known as Genovese Syndrome (though the American Psychologist Magazine in 2007 found that the story told about Kitty Genovese was greatly exaggerated by the media and has not been corrected by most textbooks because it was such a powerful example).

I have been the victim of a violent crime. Is that why I run toward a victim instead of ignoring it? Is it because I can relate?  Somehow do I see any victim as an extension of myself? I don't know, it all happens so quickly. I mean I literally drop everything, there is no thinking it out until I run toward the situation, then I start sizing it up in my mind on how I will respond. It is instinctive.  What would you do? Here is short video to help you understand the Bystander Effect.

Last night at our local county library branch I heard a woman crying out for help and yelling, "Leave me alone." Mind you, my eardrums have collapsed and I have lost hearing, yet I could hear it. I could not tell where it was coming from. I look around and realized not one other person was moving to investigate or help.

So I literally dropped everything and ran toward the cry for help. I realized it was coming from the bathroom and I knew I might witness a sexual predator in action, but I bolted in, alone. The moment I went in a woman came running out and told me, "I was just trying to get in that stall she was in to look for my phone, as that was the last place I had it." As I walked out with her, explaining her story that made no sense, the head librarian walked up to us and I allowed her to take over on how to proceed. Unfortunately, our library is now the hang-out of many of the homeless and drug addicts and is a scary place to visit.

People in the library just sat there, staring at me. Nobody was doing anything, but staring at me. I do not know what they were thinking, but I said to them, "I will never allow a crime to be committed and not get involved to try to stop it."  Nobody said a word, just continued to stare.

Later an older Asian man said to me that my husband must be a police officer. Nope. I explained to him I had been a victim of a violent crime and cannot stand by and allow another to be hurt. He told me that God favors me and allowed my past because I became a stronger and better person for it. I told him that I fully agree that God can work all things together for good, if we submit to Him.  I believe that and it is one more reason to choose life! 

Until we meet again, choose life! Giulianna xoxoxoxo

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for helping me to Bachar Chayah!