In the jargon of the domestic violence field it’s called bystander accountability, but I think the airlines say it much better, “If you see something- Say Something.” When DVRC staff are working with kids in prevention education programs, we teach the importance of being an ally and what that means. It doesn’t just mean not committing abusive behaviors, or being there when a friend needs to talk. Sometimes it means making the hard decision to publicly intervene when you see injustice. The kids get it… sometimes more than we adults do.
Have you ever walked by a bad situation and just pretended not to notice even when you could have done something to help? Why? Lots of reasons. I’m not sure what to do. I’ve never considered this situation and in the moment indecision leads to avoidance. Sometimes my brain’s objections override  that feeling in my gut to do something. Typically my brain says something like:

It’s not my business. That’s a private matter; I shouldn’t get involved., or
What if I do something that makes the situation worse, or
You think somebody would say something. I can’t imagine why no one is intervening.

You get the idea. I’ll admit I’m as guilty as the next person. I’m embarrassed to say it, but if I see injustice, I  sometimes walk on by. Then I’m often haunted by the lingering feeling of failure… failure to do the right thing to help someone in need. Here’s an interesting question. Is my willingness to help gender biased? Here’s a video that raises the question is justice gender-biased?

It’s shocking to watch. Perplexing to hear the rationale. And  something to think about and remember.

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I Need You to Step In