In the Daily Mail, there is a story about an experiment where two little girls say they are lost and more than 600 people at a shopping mall walk by them:
Hidden cameras recorded Uma, seven, and Maya, five, who took it in turns to look lost.
Astonishingly, over the whole hour only one person, a grandmother, took a moment to find out if there was a problem. All of the 616 other passers-by completely ignored the girls.
Heartbreakingly for the mother of the sisters – who was watching from a hiding place nearby – passing couples even split apart to walk around either side of the ‘lost’ girls and people wheeling suitcases took evasive action to avoid Maya and Uma, not thinking to check if they needed help.
Who can blame them? The authorities have spent years making it clear that adults, in particular male adults, are suspect –and now they want those same adults to stand up and help kids with no regard for their own welfare:
Experts said the reluctance of the passers-by was partly explained by people being busy, and partly a fear – especially among men – of any help they offer a child being misinterpreted.
But the NSPCC said a child’s welfare was more important than worrying about being labelled a ‘stranger danger’.
A spokesman said: ‘We have got to get a message out to adults that they have a responsibility to protect children and that must supersede any concern you have for other people’s perception of why you are reaching out to help that child.’
Bullshit — responsibility is a two-way street. It’s not just a “perception by people” that men and even women are a danger to kids, it is a reality that men (and some women, but mostly men) are charged with abuse and face real jail time, job loss and separation from their families for sex abuse charges so readily that they have become immune to the cries of kids. Who can blame them? I can’t. Can you?
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