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Violence in public places

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Chiroptera, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Chiroptera

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    [TRIGGER WARNING: I will tell the story of something that happened near me, which includes violence against a woman. Nothing too graphic, but it contains violence.]

    Hey everyone,

    I just got home from a first date with a guy. The date went well, he is a nice guy and all, but something happened in the place we were.

    We got some ice cream and were in the town square (a place with trees, benches, etc. - not sure the correct name in English :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: ), and we were chatting. Suddenly, i hear some girls screaming (around 17~ yo) "stop! stop!". At first, i thought they were shouting at a dog, but, once i looked again, i saw a man slapping, pinching and yelling at a woman. The 2 girls yelled at him and pushed him, and he walked away. The woman started crying and sat on a bench, and the girls started asking her some questions.

    I then walked there to ask if they had called the police (apparently, the girls did that) and if she needed some help. Another woman (around 40~) approached the scene too (while other people in the place ignored the situation - and there were many people there). The woman explained, crying, that he wasn't her husband or boyfriend - they just "know each other".

    The man come back and ignored me, the girls and the "not-so-old" lady, and kept insulting the woman. We were in front of her, but when he came back, she stood up and walked in his direction. He grabbed her arm, insulting her that "women can do anything these days, everything is violence" and then he released her. They both walked away.

    I even commented with the lady that was there with me (the girls went away with their mom), that i considered fighting him to stop him going away with the woman (who clearly ignored our protection in fear of him), but i didn't do it. I was very afraid, but i didn't feel prepared to fight him (especially since the only person who was more or less ready for combat was me - the lady wasn't strong and everyone else in the place ignored the situation). The police never appeared, btw.

    I'm now home, I considered making a report but i don't think i have information for that. I vaguely remember their faces (I was nervous, i didn't pay attention to details), and i didn't hear the woman talking about names or anything.

    I feel bad for letting her go with him, but i don't know what else i could have done. Fight him? I don't think i would go down that easily, but i'm not super strong either. And, i admit, i was very afraid (he is a bad person, clearly), and i am a bit still because, even if i didn't attack him, i was in the situation.

    I just want to vent i think, and maybe see opinions about this. I know Brazil is a violent place, but I never saw something like this near me. And it is impressive and revolting that a huge part of our population repeats the mantra "a good criminal is a dead criminal", and things like this, but, when something happen and these people don't have a weapon, no one does anything (i don't support killing people, even criminals - what i mean is that people are always bragging that they "defend family" and "hate criminals". We even had a conservative protest in our city one week ago or so about conservatives, defending a military intervention and "family". But when something like this happens, most people ignore it...)
     
    #1 Chiroptera, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  2. Quantumreality

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    Hey @Chiroptera,

    Those kinds of situations are tough. Most of the time, I've found that a bully like that guy will back down if someone stands up to him firmly. But, frankly, in the situation you described, I think non-intervention was the best policy. While the guy was being abusive, the woman's life was not in immediate danger. Also, she did not ask for your help (or anyone else's). It is quite possible that, had you chosen to intervene, she may very well have begun cursing you for interfering, unasked.

    Unfortunately, it is not always possible or reasonable for us to intervene when we see something that we consider ''wrong." It can be especially problematic when we don't have a clear understanding of the overall situation.

    I would just say that you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. You did what you reasonably could. And that's more than a lot of people these days - so many people would simply ignore the situation and walk away.

    My 2cents.:relaxed:
     
    #2 Quantumreality, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  3. JaimeGaye

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    Brazil is a violent place and the masculine rule of machismo is the rule of the manly man where disrespect by a man or woman is considered a capital offense that all to often requires albeit DEMANDS a retaliatory reply up to and including murder.
    With ineffective policing you did the right and safest thing by backing off.
    No sane thoughtful person wishes to witness violence against another, the insane know this and conduct public violence to keep the sane people in a state of perpetual fear.
    Until the sane as a whole rise up against the insane and change the face of what is agreeable in a sane society then the accepted norm will continue and frankly, for your own safety and unpleasant as witnessing an extremely unpleasant event is, you had no dog in that fight so let it go. HTH
     
  4. Chiroptera

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    @Quantumreality

    Thank you. I would definetely defend her if she just stood behind us, but, without the help of the police (which didn't came btw - i was there for like 2 hours more) or anyone else, i didn't feel ready to fight the guy. And, while apparently she only went away with him out of fear, I can't guarantee that she wouldn't defend him in case the police arrived and asked us about what happened (especially since, again, most people in the place were just standing there, doing nothing!).

    It's a sad situation and really hard to deal with. >.<

    @JaimeGaye

    I don't see the situation like that. The guy wasn't insane, he was a violent, sane person, who knew what he was doing.

    And, yes, it would be hard to risk myself alone in that situation. But i also don't think it would be right to just stand there - I may have backed off, but at least i tried to help, i believe (and would if she didn't leave our "circle of protection" - not blaming her, i understand she was acting out of fear, but, again, i didn't feel ready to go after the guy).

    Most people have let it go because they had "no dog in that fight". That's the main problem i believe. If more people came to her, i doubt the guy would even return to grab her again. But with me, two teenager girls and a 40~ lady, he simply ignored us and came back - he knew it wouldn't be easy for us to stop him (even if we could).

    Maybe i'm wrong, but i think it is a balance between "doing nothing" and "trying to be a hero". Doing nothing is wrong, i believe. There's a woman being attacked! But trying to be a hero, alone, while it would be a respectable action, is something that frequently doesn't end up with good consequences, i believe. I don't know, i'm not trying to defend my actions, i think i'm just trying to think and vent a bit. I always imagined myself acting in a situation like this, but when you are there, things are really, really different. >.<