See no evil?  Once I was at a training on domestic violence and child abuse.  The speaker was illustrating some cases, that in hindsight, it seemed very obvious that there was a miscarriage of justice.  Reasons why the court had reluctance to find the perpetrator guilty or assign significant consequences were discussed.  The reason that stood out for me is that if the judge or juries are healthy, caring individuals it may be hard for them to imagine that someone could do such things to child.  For example, a judge might be abhorred to even consider having a sexual thought about his granddaughter so it is difficult to believe the upstanding, gentleman not only has them but acts on those sexual feelings.  I don’t know.  Is that it?  Are we bystanders because it is hard for us to believe the cruelty people may have for another.

Do people not act because we believe it is none of our business?  Do we think we don’t know the whole story so we just let it go?

Are we afraid of the time it may take if we step up.

 Are people afraid of being judged themselves so they don’t act?  Do we know we do things that people might judge so we don’t want to jump to conclusions?

Are our priorities just screwed up?  Is money, or avoiding conflict or a football program as the case may be more important that the safety and well-being of others?  Do we just not know what to do so we do nothing? 
 

Some of my thoughts were prompted from the Penn State issues last week.  A couple of links talking about this subject are

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/11/fifteen-adults-knew-about-child-sexual-assaults-at-penn-state-and-did-not-act

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2011/11/10/preventing-and-reporting-child-abuse-the-questions-raised-by-the-penn-state-scandal  

I don’t have answers.  When to step in and when to bystand is something each of us answers on our own time and in our own way.  I just know I don’t want to be the person who doesn’t step in because of fear or because it would just be too much trouble.

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