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Should you step in? watch

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    Today I watched a mother slap her 4-6 year old multiple times, and I could hear the connection from further down the bus. I didn't do anything. Personally, I believe this is disgusting, but what about the argument that people should decide how they raise their children, is a slap on the bottom cruel or a way to punish a kid? What about witnessing racism on the bus? One of my friends (Indian) was being berated by a mother (black) who had many kids, and looked at him I a disapproving manner because he had his bag on the floor in front of him, as you are meant to do. Then an old lady stepped in, seemingly to defend him, before quickly saying "you people come over here with your 7 kids" etc. Etc. Nobody stepped in. Why don't people step in?
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    It's a tough one. You have to consider a few factors. I once stepped in when I saw a guy dragging his girlfriend down the street - it was a risky thing to do and tbh the better option is to call the police if there is violence happening but in the situation I initially wasn't sure if they were messing around so followed them a short distance and then saw him physically pick her up and throw her down on the ground. At that point I acted more on impulse as she was only young to grab her arm and get between them. I was by myself so couldn't do that and call the police at the same time and despite maybe 10 people passing us, a few of whom saw his throw the girl down, none of them even asked if I needed help.

    But you have to think about your safety in these situations, for me I thought 'well if he punches me I'll call the police and press charges, which the girl was refusing to do' but you never know really, if you confront someone and they have a knife or you're alone you could end up in serious trouble. You also have to think what you can actually achieve - the police are not going to attend because someone slapped a kid so you'll argue with her until she gets off the bus and then what? There's something to be said for doing the right thing and speaking up for people even if you achieve nothing, particularly if the victim is old enough to recognise the support and benefit from it - you also encourage others around you to speak up and if enough people back you up potentially you make a difference. You don't want people to feel like the abuse is okay or everyone agrees because they don't speak up.
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    The Bystander Effect. It's a psychological phenomenon whereby the more people who witness someone who needs help, the less likely it is that they will intervene and help. Everyone differs responsibility to everyone else and as a result, everybody does nothing.
 
 
 
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