Did you ever witness a crime or someone in trouble but failed to stop and help? Almost all of us can answer “yes” to this question. There are times we see a blinking car on the shoulder ahead of us, but continue on to our destination without calling for help because if you saw it, that means the hundreds of other drivers on the highway saw it and for sure one of them HAD to phone for help. This phenomenon is known as the bystander effect. The more witnesses there are around, the less likely it is that any of them will stop to help an individual that needs it. There are many reasons as to why someone would display the bystander effect and not help another in need. One reason may be due to the safety of that person, for example if I was driving home at night and spotted a broken-down car on the side of the street I would most likely continue driving in hopes that someone else stops to help them. I wouldn’t risk the safety of my life by going down to help this person, when another individual with better helping abilities is able to do this.
The bystander effect is seen everywhere around us; however, it’s particularly witnessed in a Hulu series called “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This show is based on a totalitarian government in which only a couple women, known as the “Handmaids,” are able to conceive so the leaders of the state group these women up and assign them to different families in order to get them pregnant and continue the process of reproduction. The women all hate their lives and what they’ve gotten themselves into, however they grew immune to it and don’t speak about their hardship anymore. In one “recruiting ceremony,” one of the Handmaid’s was getting her child taken away from her before she was sent off to a new Commander to sleep with. In a conversation following the ceremony, the remaining Handmaids were seen talking about how they should help the victim get her child back. However, they spoke about the consequences this act would result in and concluded that it most likely isn’t worth the risk. Then, we overhear another Handmaid speaking to her relative about how one of the girls will eventually help her get her child back. Little did she know the other conversation that was being had across the room. None of these Handmaids thought helping would be worth potentially losing their lives, but they assumed that another Handmaid wouldn’t mind the risk and eventually take it. They all thought that someone else would help since they were unable to. However, if everyone has this mindset that someone else is obviously going to help, then nobody will end up helpin
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