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Ending The Bystander Syndrome Could End Gbv

Have you ever witnessed someone in trouble and felt like you should do something, but ended up doing nothing? If so, you are not alone. Many people suffer from what is called passer-by syndrome, which is the tendency to ignore or avoid helping someone in need, especially if there are other people around. This phenomenon can have serious consequences for both the victim and the potential helper, and it is important to understand why it happens and how to overcome it.

The passer-by syndrome is related to the bystander effect, which is a social psychological phenomenon that states that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. The more bystanders there are, the less likely anyone will help, because each person assumes that someone else will take responsibility. This is called the diffusion of responsibility.

However, the number of bystanders is not the only factor that influences whether a person will help or not. There are many other factors, such as the ambiguity of the situation, the perceived risk or cost of helping, the personal characteristics of the helper and the victim, and the social norms and expectations. For example, a person may be more likely to help if the situation is clear and urgent, if the helper has relevant skills or knowledge, if the victim is similar or familiar to the helper, and if the helper feels that helping is expected or rewarded.

The passer-by syndrome can have negative consequences for both the victim and the helper. The victim may suffer more harm or distress if no one intervenes, and may lose faith in humanity or develop psychological problems. The helper may experience guilt, regret, or self-blame for not acting, and may also lose self-esteem or confidence.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the passerby syndrome and become a better person in your society. Here are some possible way:

– Recognize that you have a moral obligation and a social responsibility to help someone in need. Do not think that it is none of your business or that someone else will do it. Remember that you could be in their position someday and that you would want someone to help you.

– Educate yourself on how to respond effectively in different emergency situations. Learn basic first aid skills, CPR techniques, or self-defence methods. Know how to call for help or alert authorities. Be prepared for any possible scenario.

– Reduce the diffusion of responsibility by singling out yourself or someone else to take action. Do not wait for others to act first. Be assertive and confident in your decision to help. If there are other bystanders around, ask them for assistance or assign them specific tasks.

– Seek support from other bystanders who may also want to help. Sometimes people are hesitant to help because they are afraid of being judged or criticized by others. However, there may be others who share your concern and willingness to help. Look for signs of empathy or interest from others, and try to form a group or a team with them.

– Follow your intuition and trust your judgment when deciding whether to help or not. Do not let fear, apathy, or conformity stop you from doing what is right. Listen to your inner voice and act accordingly. You may not always make the best decision, but you will always make a better decision than doing nothing.

Passer-by syndrome is a serious problem that can affect anyone at any time. However, by being more aware and proactive, we can make a difference in someone’s life, in our own life and in our community. We can break the passerby syndrome today.

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