Have you ever witnessed an assault - whatever it is - without taking action? You may have been a victim of the bystander effect, and that doesn't make you abject. Only a human being, but don't panic, it can be cured.
This effect was theorized in 1968 by two American psychologists, John Darley and Bibb Latane. These were based on a news item that stirred the press across the Atlantic: on March 13, 1964, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was attacked in the middle of the street in New York. She was raped and then murdered under the eyes of neighbors who were apparently immobile, who did not help at any time. Why haven't they done anything? According to specialists, they were certainly plagued by the spectator effect that prevented them from taking action.
How do we explain it?
In such unusual and potentially dangerous situations, humans would tend to rely on their peers. The more witnesses there are in an emergency situation, the less likely it is that a bystander will come to help, or at least very slowly. In fact, humans wait for someone else to react before moving.
But why ?
Several theories are possible:
How to counter this effect?
At the end of this article, do you hate all of mankind? You can help improve it by acting first when you witness an unusual scene that puts the integrity of others at risk. A simple "enough is enough" addressed to the abuser can sometimes change everything. You will also show the victim that you have seen them and that you will not let them down.
If you yourself are the victim of assault in public and no one reacts, don't hesitate to call out to someone in particular. By being chosen as responsible, you will take him out of this witness effect, and you will then push him to take his responsibilities.
If you are curious, the Psynect video below provides more details: