Friday, March 20, 2009

Attacker in the station

Have you ever seen something and turned a blind eye? Or thought someone else would interject on the injustice you witnessed? Or assumed another person would make that call to the police so you didn't bother?

Bystander effect.

We are all guilty of it. And it makes me think.

Our generation has access to more information than ever before. We know more than our parents sometimes. Our world view is being constantly shifted and challenged by the media and other peoples opinions.

So really, we can not blame ignorance for our inability to act or move because we know what is happening. We see and hear it.

I experienced this in a life altering reality that took place several days ago.

Myself, B and my friends G and A were running through Town Hall at 450 on a Sunday afternoon to get to a shop before it closed. Let me set the scene. The city, bustling with people catching the train home after a day of shopping. We had left our bags in the car with my friend, as we were literally running into a store and out again to pick up my phone. After a 1 minute run G and I realised A wasn't actually with us. Assuming she had fallen behind and would be waiting for us we got the phone and went back to find her. An hour and half and increasing panic later, we still couldn't find her. With no money, no phone and little knowledge of the city we had no idea where she was. Security guards in several shopping centres and train stations were looking, her husband hadn't heard from her and we had called in a group of guys to help us look. It was like an ugly thriller movie. The night grew dark and the sky poured piercing rain and my heart beat in my mouth as my knowledge of human trafficking and drug rapping ran unprotected through my mind.

Our last stop was the police station. They told us, as unavoidable tears spilt down our cheeks we had to wait another hour to file a Missing Persons report. I could not believe where my night had lead to.

We headed to sit in the protection of a fast food joint, with nothing left to do but wait and watch the streets. Her husband finally called, telling us A was OK. She had gotten on a bus and made her way to her restaurant where she called him. I wish that was the end of it. Unfortunately the ugly truth reared its head. While we were running, she fell behind and called out to me, but I didn't hear. Before she knew it, she had a hand around her mouth and was being dragged into an alley by a Lebanese man. Her panicked eyes scanned the sea of people, as they watched as she attempted to fight off her attacker before being shoved into an alley and his brute power forced upon her. I hate to think what the out come could have been, but thankfully one decent person was to be found in that see of bystanders. A man came and punched the guy and told her to run. Disorientated she found a cop and through sobs and panic begged to use his phone. He refused but offered compensation of a free bus pass. Rarely do I swear but when I heard this, every swear word I have ever known found my throat and like vomit to the stomach these words poured out and I wished they'd found that Dick Head cop.

What kills me more than anything though is not the cop or even the Leb who shamelessly attacked a girl in broad day light, but the people who watched this happen. How do we see something like this, and stay immobile? And would I have the courage to react in this situation?

It is not ignorance we will be punishable for. We are not longer ignorant because we hear and see whether we want to or not. It is our complacency to act and do something. Whether it be a girl being attacked in a shopping centre or a child dying of starvation in Africa, we forget to put legs on our words and knowledge.

5 comments:

Angela said...

That's appalling. All of it.

missBee said...

Isn't it!!!!

Fabulously Broke said...

I am sick to my stomach right now. I read that out to BF and even he was disgusted.

You just assume that people will do the right thing, and when they don't, you feel so betrayed because you'd expect at least a COUPLE of the guys to run up and punch him in the face and pull him off her.

I am so happy she's okay. But that really freaks me out, as a woman who also cannot run fast..

Fabulously Broke in the City

"Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver."

Mich said...

oh my... thats so horrible. what kind of society do we live in?

Aunt of 14 said...

He-WHA?! What the F!!!! What the HELL was that cop thinking?! I am SO glad that A got away... but wonder how she REALLY is doing inside. Something like this is going to make a profound mark on her soul.