Sunday, August 02, 2009

If you were witnessing a rape, what would you do?

Over 4 years ago, a woman named Maria was assaulted in the New York subway. She was grabbed by her assailant in full view of a subway clerk. She was pulled down the stairs to the subway platform. There she was raped, even as a train pulled in, and then pulled out, of the station.

Both the token booth clerk and train conductor pushed their emergency buttons to summon the police. And the police came within 10 minutes. But the assailant had raped her twice, eluded capture, and is still at large.

Read more here.

Maria sued the Transit Authority. She feels that both the clerk and train conductor could have done more. Not act like police, but they could have yelled at her assailant to stop and that they were summoning the police, without putting themselves at risk. A judge, however, ruled that the Transit Authority employees did their duty, and were not obligated to do more.

What do you think?

Not so much what the Transit Authority employees did (or didn't do). What would you have done? If you saw what looked like an assault or rape in progress, would you consider summoning the police to be your only obligation? Or is that even an obligation on your part? How far would you go to interrupt the assault process? Is that a skill set you'd want to learn? Or practice? Let me know -- email me.

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