What can I do?

maeann
Posted September 29, 2019 from Philippines

On 13 March 1964 Life Magazine reported a frightening example of irresponsible detachment in New York.  A decent pretty young woman of 28 called Kitty was returning home from her job as manager of a bar. 

It was 3:20am. She had parked her car and was walking the remaining few yards to her apartment when she was attacked by a man and stabbed.  She screamed for help. 

Several lights went on in the apartment block, and somebody shouted from an upper window, “Let the girl alone.”

The assailant looked up, shrugged his shoulders and walked off. 

But as the lights went out again and nobody came to her rescue, he returned and stabbed her a second time. 

At her renewed screams more lights went on, windows were opened and heads looked out.  So the man got into his car and drove away. 

But again, as nobody came to help her, he returned to stab her for the third time and kill her. 

Not until 3:50am. Did the police receive their first phone call.  By then Kitty was dead. 

When the police questioned local residents, they found that at least 38 respectable middle-class, law-abiding citizens had heard the woman’s screams, and had watched her being stabbed, but not one had done anything about it. 

She had even recognized one witness and called him by name, but he did not reply.  Why, the police asked, had these people not come to her aid?  Some confessed that they did not know. 

A housewife said she “thought it was a lover’s quarrel.” 

A man explained without emotion, “I was tired.  I went back to bed.” 

“But the word we kept hearing from the witnesses,” said Police Lieutenant Bernard, “was ‘involved.’  People told us they just didn’t want to get involved.”

The story shows us different responses and can relate to:

  • “Some confessed that they did not know” – these are the people who are claiming that they are not aware of a law they have broken or in any law that they should know.
  • “thought it was a lover’s quarrel” – these are the people who are bind with tradition and belief within the family or custom
  • “I was tired.  I went back to bed “– these are the people who just mind their own business
  • “didn’t want to get involved” – these are the people who don't take interest in everybody else’s affairs

The story tells us that it is not only men or women that should involve but all gender. 

Let us not response to how the witness did. We are all part of this society. 

We see a life-threatening social disease and we think that the problem is so huge that there is nothing that can be done about it, and definitely, our little contribution would make no difference to the scale of the problem. 

But if individuals and communities want to change it is achievable.

Change can come in a world despite terrible inequalities. 

This change depends on our values and attitudes, commitment to social justice and equity, value and respect for diversity and believe that people can make a difference.

What can I do?

a) Know your right being a woman

b) Get involved in an organization who supports the improvement and development of women and children

c) Educate yourself

This story was submitted in response to Human Rights for All.

Comments 13

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Tamarack Verrall
Sep 29
Sep 29

Dear Maeann,
Your story reached my heart. In 1964 I was 15, living 8 hours north of where this took place. A young teens we girls were beginning to realize that we needed to walk with keys between our fingers as possible defence weapons. Your story begs the question. How have we developed into a community of people who are too afraid or disinterested to come together to save the life of (all too often) a woman simply trying to return home from work. This is why I am so grateful for our coming together in World Pulse, and for all we are each doing to create change.

maeann
Sep 29
Sep 29

Hi Tam,
The beauty of technology is bringing us together in one voice and the platform of World Pulse is one way of bringing women together to speak and be heard.

That year of 1964, bring a reminder that it can still happen but can be avoided...

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 29
Sep 29

Yes, and I think so important that you show so gracefully that we have been facing the same kind of violence since so long ago and that news exactly like this is still reported having happened today. Thank you!

Tarke Edith
Sep 29
Sep 29

Hi sister
I am so sad about this story , in fact you have beat my heart .
So sad to hear that somebody was dying with people around her who could have rescue her .
Well let's us always pray for God's interventions in times of crisis like this
Thanks for sharing dear
Have a blessed day.

maeann
Sep 29
Sep 29

Hi Tarke,
It is sad.... but we can change it now...by knowing what we can do.

Hello, Mae Ann,

Thank you for sharing this story and for providing recommendations on how to get involved.

The question “what can I do?” is a good start to compell us into action.

maeann
Sep 29
Sep 29

Thanks Karen...
Let's do our part :)

You're welcome, sis. Yes, let us. :)

Lisbeth
Sep 29
Sep 29

Dear Maeann,
Wow! This is a very sad report reaching us today from you. It's so terrible! I think the killer had study the environment very well before. You see he always return to his victim.

What can you do? Is the question to ask. We must indeed be involved in all activities of our societies. If you hear a cry in your community, pls go out and ask or call the security that your heard a wierd sound. Thanks very much for sharing this wonderful message.
Thanks

maeann
Sep 29
Sep 29

Thanks Lisbeth

Jill Langhus
Sep 30
Sep 30

Hello Mae Ann,

How are you, dear? Stories like this make me literally sick to my stomach. I don't know what I would do in this situation, but I definitely wouldn't be ignoring it. If I was concerned for my safety, I would at least call 911. We have a long way to go globally before humanity, and empathy, are returned as a #1 priority.

I hope you're doing well, and having a good Monday, dear.

XX

maeann
Oct 03
Oct 03

Hi Jill, thanks for reading. Have a great day also.

Jill Langhus
Oct 04
Oct 04

You're welcome. Thank you!