“Two days ago, a little girl died in hospital in China after being run over a week earlier by two vans. Two-year-old Wang Yue, known as Yueyue, wandered into the street and was hit by the first van, which left her bleeding in the road. In the next seven minutes, around a dozen people walked or cycled past without stopping to help, until Yueyue was run over by a second van. It was then that a woman pulled the toddler to the side of the road, where her mother found her shortly afterwards.”
This standing by, she writes, ”is so well known in psychology that it’s called the “bystander effect“. It’s counterintuitive: the more people who witness a traumatic event, the less likely they are to intervene, leaving it to someone else to take the initiative.“
But if that’s the case, then how do you expalin the white van man, driving past a nursery in Devon a few years ago, who saw a small child face down in the paddling pool? He wondered whether to stop, but was worried about being accused of being a peedo, or having murdered the child, and so he reasoned that someone must have noticed, so he reluctantly drove on. The child was found dead shortly after.”
As someone who was attacked randomly by a 10 year-old kid in the leafy suburbs of Tufnell Park recently, I can attest that children act as if we can’t see them and will always leave them alone.