- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Cries in the night - what would you do?

September 22nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
We all like to keep abreast of current world and local events, inspiring and uplifting stories capture our hearts and imaginations, and there is no shortage of them. We sadly read and hear more of the other kind, though, as the crimes make the news more frequently. These can be very disheartening as to the state of the world, and society in general. Sometimes I just avoid the news entirely for this reason - its all a bit "much" to assimilate.
Recent local news coverage is one example.
A sad and shocking murder trial is now just underway here in Vancouver, involving the brutal rape and murder of a young girl of 19. On her way to work early in the morning, she was acccosted about 6AM as she walked to her bus stop. Her body was found later that morning along a nearby riverbank, and a man of 24 is now on trial for this horrific crime. This young girl's poor family, I just cannot imagine their pain and suffering at this unthinkable loss.
These ghastly crimes are always very disturbing to learn of. They could be anyone's daughter,mother, sister, friend... victimized and killed by evil.

But there is one aspect of this tragedy that is particularly unsettling and hard to comprehend.
When canvasssing the homes nearby, investigators found that a good number of people heard screams that went on and on... and then stopped.
I believe in earlier media accounts.. 27 people acknowledged hearing her desperate cries in the distance.
Not one of them called 911.
Why? Why did they not? It may be understandable to not personally investigate, but to simply pick up the phone and report it?
This was a average nice middle-class neighbourhood, neat homes, average people residing there. One woman offered that teens sometimes partied at the river behind them, and rowdy screaming was occassionally heard. But those surely are different from screams of terror. Indeed, one of the first trial witnesses said the tone of the female voice he heard indicated fear rather than anger as she cried out "oh no.. not again." He got up, looked outside, saw nothing.
He, and all the others did not follow up with a call to police.

These were not bad people, just everyday citizens of a quiet neighbourhood. I'm sure they were devastated to learn the truth behind these cries for help that went unheeded.

But - what is the reason for this? Are we becoming so insular as individuals that we cannot bring ourselves to "get involved".. even with reporting alarming or unusual occurences that we see and hear? Or is it that we simply rely on "someone else" to take responsibilty?

We all firmly believe that we would do the right thing, but there is no logical explanation for how every one of of these people thought the right thing was to do nothing. :confused:

September 22nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
Shamrock,I believe we are all responisble to stop any abuse be it to humans or animals.
In my book there is no such thing as"not getting involved"and the least anyone of us can do is call 911.
I would not try to be a hero,but if anyone needs help from me,they will get it!
I have on several occasions been involved with abused women and I am not afraid of some cowardly person beating up on a girlfriend or wife.
We have a moral obligation to help anyone in trouble,I would not be able to live with myself did I ignore a young girls desperate screams and shame on the ones who in this case did :mad:

September 22nd, 2005, 04:09 PM
I have actually been in a situation where my "bravery" was called upon. I'm a female, not in the best of shape, but when my upstairs neighbor cried for help, I was there in a hearbeat.

She was being beaten by a drunk person, twice her size (and mine) and I still helped her the best I could. The end result was me getting a broken arm, and quite a few bruises, but the attacker was jailed and charged with many counts of causing bodily harm.

Did I pay for helping out with pain? You bet I did. I still look at the scars and remember what happened.

Would I do it again if given the chance? Without hesitation! When I look at my scars, I'm filled with a proud feeling that I made a difference!

I would hope that a passerby would do the same for me, if I needed the help.

September 22nd, 2005, 05:15 PM
Then there is the young guy who tried to defend a screaming girl at a gas station, only to have her turn on him too and he got the crap kicked out of him in BC. He says he'd do it again too.

They say the more people are around, the less likely they are to help. I guess because of the fear of who it is you're helping, along with the notion that "somebody" else will take care of it. With so many eyes watching all the time, how can somebody not see? But they don't. Like the girl here in Qc who walked several kms naked after a brutal attempted rape- how does nobody see that?

Dog Dancer
September 22nd, 2005, 06:02 PM
I lived right near the gas station incident where the guy got beat up. The girl didn't beat on him, but it appears it was her boyfriend who was beating her up and turned on her rescuer. She did nothing to help and has never thanked him. Many figure she still lives with the guy. It was very sad. Bless his heart for helping though.

I called 911 one night after a car accident in front of our house. It's a T intersection and a car full of young people went straight through and slammed into parked cars on the cross road. My late husband said he thought perhaps they were drinking because they were laughing. Two young males and two females in the back were crying. Anyhow when I got 911 they said they wouldn't dispatch anyone unless there were injuries. I said I didn't know if there were or not, it didn't appear they were injured, but told them perhaps alcohol was involved. The dispatcher says to me "well are they drinking or not?" It was after mid-night and I told her "What do you want me to do go out and ask them if they're drunk - isn't that your job? Myself if I was sober I would have turned at the corner not driven into the parked cars. So if you guys don't care neither do I. I just wanted to report it." Then I hung up on her. They had police and fire crews there in minutes!

Anyhow, I may not have been brave enough to venture out myself but I would certainly have called 911 if I had heard this poor girl screaming for help. I'd like to think I would have taken the dog and gone out, but don't know for sure. It's a scary thought. But I could never just ignore it as these people did. I'm sure they're not sleeping well these nights. If it's the right guy on trial I hope they throw everything at him.

September 22nd, 2005, 06:29 PM
Sometimes I get the feeling it's just in the U.S. that this happens and people don't intervene. Almost a relief to know that it's evidently everywhere, but then I start thinking, a relief? It's even worse to be everywhere! I don't understand how people can do nothing.

September 22nd, 2005, 07:09 PM
I try to offer help any time I see someone in trouble but that is just it I see them in trouble. I hope I would do the same if I heard someone screaming and hope I would be able to tell the difference between someone just fooling around here like the kids/teens do all the time and someone that is really in trouble.
I believe the problem may be that we as a society have been desensitized to these sounds. The same as alarms on cars. Do you ever check when you hear them?

September 22nd, 2005, 09:18 PM
On satalite til 11pm, primetime ch 209. What would you do public experiments. Check it out.

September 23rd, 2005, 11:49 AM
Take a look at this.
Kitty Genovese case (
I came across this several times while studying Sociology. It is the true story of a woman who was murdered, and a reported 38 witnesses did nothing. It's been the top of sociology research for 40 years. There are a few theories. One of the most popular is the "someone else will call". The bigger the crowd, the less likely it is to have individuals respond. This has been studied. For example, how many people have driven down the 401, seen a car on the side of the road (broken down, accident, whatever) and not called anyone or pulled over, but going down a back highway, have stopped?

In general, people are reluctant to "get involved". The less chance that "someone else will call", the more chance of an individual stepping up. And vice versa.