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Self Defense/Is it dangerous to try to help a bystander even after the violent altercation has ended?


I just read your most recent article.

I am curious. Is it risky to help a victim far after the event has ended and the guilty has left the scene?

Years ago I was taking a course on the Algerian Revolution and in one incident French soldiers were interrogating an Arab girl who was suspected of supporting the FLN. After nonviolent approaches failed, they proceeded to rape her. A French doctor had happened to pass by during the rape and was horrified but did not do anything to stop it. To his credit though, after the soldiers left, he took the Arab woman to a hospital and the folks at OR said she was bleeding so badly that if the French doctor hadn't taken her immediately ASAP, she would have died of hemorrhage within a few hours.

This is example of "intervening" as a bystander without getting hurt in the midst of violence.

What would you recommend about this (since you are so opposed to intervening when fists are thrown because you might get caught as a victim)?

Also since you were criticizing SJWs and liberals, I have one question. You stated that if these guys were so serious about stopping a rape or murder, "why don't they "STOP" the predator?" as the ending towards your article.

I got something to add and its also a question towards you about the nature of violence. WHY don't these guys EVER at least HELP the victim once the dangerous thug has left? (or if they weren't at the event when it happened, how come I never see a SJW visit a hospital personally to give flowers to random victims they never met?)

I get why you ended the article  witht hat phrase, it destroys their credibility.

Also if it is dangerous to help a random person once the "GUILTY" has left the scene, what are the reasons and what possibilities of danger may you face (just because I seek advice)?

For the record, I'm not against bystander intervention.

What I am against is you not having your shit together enough to do whatever it takes, whatever the cost BEFORE you step in. If you don't, can't and aren't ready for the price, then the only thing physically intervening is going to do is create another victim... you.

Actively 'stepping in' requires a whole lot more than you in liver quivering self-righteousness, standing there saying, "Hey man! That's wrong!"  and expecting that to make it all better.

On the other hand, calling the cops and filming isn't a bad idea (on the other hand remember to cloud it or e-mail it to the cops, because the cops taking your phone with the evidence is real common). BTW, if you aren't willing to bust him on the back of the head, telling/threatening the dude you're filming isn't a good idea either.

One of the bigger problems that I have with the concept of bystander intervention is it's a reaction to a lie.  A lie started by social scientists and the media pontificating on the murder of Kitty Genovese

Then saying "oh bad, bad, bad," people were told how horrible they were for not intervening. You should do something.

Well guess what? Those people you're telling to intervene don't have what it takes to do much more than bleed. This ain't the kind of thing you tell yourself you are ready to handle, it's something you have to have done a lot of work, have things already in place before you even consider stepping in.

Starting with the fact with knowing that there is not one 'pat' answer about what to do. Before you even THINK of intervening know that there is a spectrum of violent circumstances. What works in one, fails in another. What is enough force for one situation is too little for some, too much for many others. You HAVE to look and assess the circumstances and level of danger BEFORE you step in.  Otherwise you're going to find out the hard way that you valiantly stepped up and into a situation you should have shot the (first) bastard in the back of the head without warning.

The flip side of that same coin is that most situations will evaporate if you step up -- WITH awareness of the level, the willingness to do what it takes, and knowing full well the cost of it going sideways.  See, it's a lot more complicated than just saying "Hey! I think you're wrong! Stop it."

Having said that, unless you are in some seriously fucked up places -- and you'll know when you are (and if you don't you have no business being there)-- helping someone afterwards is not dangerous.  You had to find an example from school, about Algeria, during a revolution over 50 years ago where it might have been.

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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