20 year old girl raped in park, 100’s watch

This happened yesterday at a park in Washington. A girl in her twenties was raped by a 60 year old homeless guy in a park. Hundreds of people saw it happen but no one did anything about it.

Now what’s interesting is something I’ve never heard of before. It’s called the Bystander Effect. In a nutshell what it means is that the larger the group of people, the less likely any one single person is to offer help in an emergency.

If you are the victim in a situation like this, your best course of action is not to yell out “help me, someone help me!” But instead to single out an individual and ask them for help. Something like “Hey you in the the black tank top, help me, call the police!” This gives responsibility to that individual and causes them to act.

If you are someone on the sidelines watching, being self aware of this effect can help you break out of it.

What a horrible thing to happen. It kind of reminds me of the movie Scream 2 where the girl is being stabbed in the movie theater and runs up on stage in front of the screen yelling for help and no one does anything but watch in horror.

Well I had never heard of this Bystander Effect before. I guess if we’re to take anything away from this horrible event, hopefully more of us can be aware of it and know how to combat it.

0 thoughts on “20 year old girl raped in park, 100’s watch

  1. We talked about the Bystander Effect in psych II.

    Something similar happened back in 1980-something, where the guy slaughtered the girl in a apartment complex, people watched from their windows, but no one called the cops.

    I’ve never been in quite a situation, so I can’t say what I’d do if I was … in the situation. Hopefully I don’t watch, and not do something =/

  2. I’ve heard of it before. I guess the idea is everybody thinks somebody else must have called for help. Horrible.

  3. How strange.

    Maybe that’s how it is in Washington, but in Tennessee, it’s nothing like that at all. If someone even looks like they need help, they get it. I was at the ball park last week where a man and woman started arguing. The man was drunk and ended up hitting her. The woman screamed and two guys (one of them being a friend of mine) tackled the man into the gravel. Then a woman escorted the girl to the bathroom and the police took the man away. I’m not sure if the woman was picked up by amn ambulance or not.

  4. It’s the same fear that makes public speaking such a fearfull thing, only about ten times worse in a situation like that.

    I’ve always been a lone wolf and I don’t fear large crowds, so I think I would have been all over that guy without a thought about it. It would have been great fun to bust his ass.

  5. I’ve heard of it before, in the 50s a woman named Kitty Genovese was raped robbed and stabbed in NY. People in a nearby apartment building heard it and didn’t want to get involved

  6. I’ve been in situations in which I reacted and others didn’t.  I was sitting in a friend’s car, parked in front of a store, when we saw an old man across the street pull over to the curb, get out of his truck, and crawl underneath as if to work on something (who does that kind of thing in the street?)  While we’re sitting there, incredulous at the man’s stupidity, the truck apparently slips into gear, runs him over, and hops the curb, out of control.  My friend and I bolted out of our seats; Wes, being much faster than I, was actually able to hop into the cab of the truck and put on the brakes; meanwhile, I drug the guy out of rush hour traffic.  Strangely enough, except for some bruising, he was fine, albeit quite shaken.

    There were a dozen people in that parking lot, yet we were the only ones who did anything.  Now, before it sounds as if I’m extolling my own virtues, I think I understand the Bystander Effect.  There was a moment right at the outset when the surreal nature of the whole thing hit me; right before I got out of the car, there was a part of my mind that thought, “This can’t be happening.”  I can’t help but wonder if Wes and I didn’t reinforce each other’s actions–if either of us had been alone–would that moment of stunned disbelief stretch into inactivity?  Would we have been paralyzed with baffled indecision?  While that’s not the same as the “social loafing” that leads to the Bystander Effect, one can’t help but wonder how often it is mistakenly identified as such.

  7. happened to my friend. she was knocked out while jogging through the park. and nobody saw? of course they did….but they ignored it. so sick. so so so sick. that’s why i learned self defense. you can’t rely on other for anything. if you want something done, you do it yourself. that’s life (regrettably, but unavoidably so)

  8. When I saw the title I thought Bystander Effect… I’m glad you didn’t automatically criticize the bystanders themselves, as most people would have done. Whats also interesting about the Bystander Effect is that, while people who hear about these events are often shocked and appalled by the fact that no one responded, and assure interviewers that they would have responded, when placed in engaging psychological replications, they often fail to respond themselves (Social Psychology David G. Myers 6th ed).

  9. I do not understand human beings. I think everyone likes to justify themselves with excuses not to help anyone out: “oh, someone must have already called”, “this is interesting”, I do not want to get involved with the police”, ” I do not want to be part of this incident”, or whatever.

    In one aspect, I do believe we’re so influenced by the media. Life’s almost like a theater. We watch and allow things to get into us without acting upon it. I mean, everyone else watched scenes on T.V/ movie relating to rape, sex, killing, and etc, so it’s nothing new to us if it happens to us in REAL LIFE. It’s almost like the “experiences” we get from watching the media is replacing our life “experiences”. On a psychological level, it’s exactly the same as if you were involved or not involved with certain issue, because we’ve already witness such things, but we don’t do anything.

  10. I’ve been aware of such an effect but didn’t know it had a name. That is really sad. :( I don’t understand it… I keep wanting to say I definitely would have done something, I mean how hard is it to call the police? But then wisekungfu probably has a point too. Ugh.

    The truth is I knew of the bystander effect without knowing it had a name because it happened to me repeatedly on a lesser scale all through elementary, junior high and high school for me. I was the only disabled kid in the entire school at several schools I went to and thus got the brunt of the bullying. Even the teachers would stand by and watch it happen and not do anything, along with the rest of the school. Yet if one of the “normal” kids even got so much as called a name, their offenders got punished swiftly. I never did understand that. I bet it has something to do with the bystander effect mentality.

  11. ive heard of the bystander effect. that that doesnt give a freakin excuse. if hundreds were watching a girl get raped in the park i would have to kick all of their asses.im usually the one that seems to help people when they are down. or atleast im the only one that is willing to ask “hey buddy you okay?”

  12. @BohemianLamb – Yeah. I can resonate with the bullying experience. I really got that freshman year of highschool partially because I was so much younger. I  recal once being bullied by these kids in my class when there was a substitute teacher, and she didn’t intervene. So I threatened them with a sharpened pencil and told them to stop. She called me out on being violent and even refused to listen to the fact that these kids were bullying me right in front of her face. I guess the experience helped shape my rather pessimistic views on psych.

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