Self Defence: Can You Rely On Help?

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The Psychology of Escape” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:36|text_align:center|color:%23000000″ google_fonts=”font_family:Droid%20Sans%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”6101″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]

It’s a dark night and you are walking home alone.  You feel in deep in your bones that something is wrong. Are you being followed?

You walk that little bit quicker, cross the road but you know now you are in real danger.

So the question you ask yourself is do you carry on down the darkened road or do you head for the nearest group of people?

It’s a no brainer really – isn’t it!

Well the answer might surprise you!

There is a psychology to escape, and getting it wrong cost Catherine Genovese her life.

Relying on help failed Catherine

Let me take you back to March 1964 in Queen’s New York.  Catherine Genovese was walking home from work in the dark!

Sounds familiar?

Well Catherine headed to her neighbourhood and thought she was safe.  In actual fact she was the victim of a long, loud, drawn out and very public death which lasted 35 mins and was overheard by 38 of her neighbours ‘good people’ who all failed to help her and in fact only rang the police after she had been stabbed to death.

How can ‘good people’ fail to act?

This is where psychology enters.  The authorities at the time assumed that no-one helped Catherine because of apathy.

Just another girl murdered in Queen’s, it happens everyday!

We are conditioned to not get involved

When we look further into this we can see something even more disturbing at work here.  Psychology tells us that

  • Personal responsibility is reduced. So, if there are a group of people able to take action, people in the group assume someone else has taken action so they don’t have to
  • Social Proof. The group will look to see what everyone else is doing and take their cue from them.  So, if no one else is panicking or taking action then the rest of the group will follow suit.

This is how 38 people failed to act to help Catherine and save her life.  So, now we know how the psychology of safety in numbers can work against us.

Find out the best chance you have to get people to act when you need them.

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