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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Can you make a commitment against bystanding?

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Author Topic: Can you make a commitment against bystanding?
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Some of you are probably aware of this terrible story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/therootdc/post/penn-state-our-collective-shame/2011/11/10/gIQAD42f8M_blog.html

We just tweeted a writer's response to it that we think is dead-on: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/11/10/omelas-state-university/

And some of you, like some of us, probably know first hand how much bystanding -- people knowing or strongly suspecting someone is being harmed, but choosing to do nothing to help them -- can do harm all by itself. Plenty of us have suffered because of bystanding.

So, here's what I want from everyone today: can you just make a promise to yourself, a very simple, humane promise, that if and when you know or strongly suspect someone is being harmed, you will act to help them? That might be as simple, and ask as little of you, as just telling someone, or just making an anonymous call to local help agencies or law enforcement.

Bystanding is seriously bad stuff, people, and I know so many of you already know that. And yes, bystanding continues to be a very widespread problem.

For every person who makes a commitment not to be a bystander, you make a really big difference.

Can you do that today?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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If you feel like you CANNOT do this, and want to talk about what you feel like would incline you not to act to help someone in harm, we can absolutely talk about that, btw.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

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When I was 14, I was sexually abused by a man who also had children of his own, including a daughter around my age. At the time, I was terrified that he may be hurting her, too. I did not speak up about it to anyone because it would have meant revealing what had happened to me, and I didn't have the words yet to talk about it, nor anyone I trusted enough to talk to.

Still, the thought that I may have abandoned my friend because I was too scared to speak up haunted me for a long time, and it has inspired and motivated me to this day. I can't stand by idly when I see others being hurt, in ways small or large. I didn't have to words to speak up then, but now I do, and I can lend my voice to those who can't.

So, I have already made my commitment, but I will renew it today. I won't be a bystander.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Joey, what a bunch of real, amazing things to say. You are fantastic.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

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I want to mention another terrible story which occurred last month and made me think seriously about why we stand by while people (particularly children) are hurt. In Southern China, a 2 year old girl was run over by a van and a truck. Neither driver stopped to help. She was left on the road to die as more than 12 people walked past/around her over 10 minutes. Finally a rubbish collecter picked up her body and alerted her mother. I believe she died in hospital. Here is a link to story, ***please note the video may be triggering:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/17/china-toddler-run-over-by-van_n_1016187.html

I will not be a bystander.
I support laws which protect Good Samaritans from liability.
I support the introduction of mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse in NZ.

[ 11-10-2011, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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