A recent facebook post a trio who saw someone drug a woman’s drink and then told her about it got me thinking about social conditioning. Specifically that for the most part, people don’t intercede in things. There are a few exceptions, who have that protective impulse that overrides the Someone Else’s Problem Field that so often protects the perpetrators.
Would it make any sense to create a group that operates something like improve anywhere, but with a domestic abuse focus? Creating scenes in public and seeing who, if anyone, intercedes, and then perhaps talking to the witnesses about it afterwards?
I can see this having a few legal hurdles and a few ethical ones. Some people might find being exposed to such things to be triggering. Overall though, would it be worth it? I think if it contributed to the dialogue, it might be.
A recent reddit thread, people were talking about how it didn’t matter who they were, if they left their drink unwatched, they pitched it out. It felt like it was implied that not doing so was foolish, which to me feels like victim blaming. Often times, that seems to be where the conversation in society is at when it comes to domestic abuse, various forms of rape, etc.
Part of that is sadly just the nature of the offense. If the perp is anonymous, it is hard to mentally assign the blame to them, and for many people, the residual blame will just drift onto the person who disturbed their quiet illusion of a safe world, the victim. And in cases where the perp isn’t anonymous, but is someone that you don’t want to believe would do such things, it’s hard to accept it. Another comfortable illusion at risk, the trust you had. The person wasn’t the monster you were expecting. They did monstrous things, but there wasn’t all the warning signs that you were taught to expect; they were just too normal.
Of course there’s also the sort who have a reputation and are known to be a problem, but action isn’t taken against them, for various reasons. Those bother me the most.