Last week a friend of mine posted a multi-tweet story in which they detailed being verbally and physically abused during the day on one of the Auckland CBD’s busiest streets. Noone came to their aid. A little while ago they’d posted a multi-tweet story about punching some guy in the face because he’d pinched their ass (they weren’t the first to suffer this.) This was during the day at rush hour on one of Auckland CBD’s busiest streets. Again, noone came to their aid. Before that they’d posted a multi-tweet story about being harassed by an older woman on the train because they were wearing branded clothing that the woman felt was inappropriate. These are only three of the many stories they tweet. This shit keeps happening to them and I’m pissed off that I can’t help.
My friend is LGBTIQQAA aka part of Gender and Sexual Diversity. (UK definition) I am too but I present in a socially acceptable way. My friend does not always. Are people not coming to their aid because they are ‘different’ or is it that we don’t know how to intervene? In Wellington the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network has been running ethical bystander courses “It’s our business” with some bars which aim to give workers “improved skills and confidence to intervene in potentially unsafe situations” as well as knowledge about consent,and the law. They also do “Who are you?” for young people and “Sexual violence awareness” for adults. I am also googling ‘ethical bystander’ which bring me up a number of options for finding out how to help in public situations.
I want to make the city I live in a better and safer place.