Internet Bystanders: When Should You Step in and Help?

The story of Amanda Berry's rescue has raised an interesting question on the Internet. Three women, kidnapped ten years ago, were finally found this week all due to a man who took action. Charles Ramsey thought he was helping Amanda Berry escape a domestic dispute and kicked down a door for her. In other words, he saw someone in trouble and he jumped to their aid. But what do we do when the person in danger is on the Internet? ...more

Domestic Violence: I Called the Cops. Where Were My Neighbors?

So I became a cop caller. That might sound strange to you. Maybe 90% of you reading would have called the cops at the first scream. Somehow, I could not. I thought she might listen and come in with us, while if we called the police, they would both be long gone. I have some measure of distrust for the police, as well, from past experience. Would they come? Would they care or dismiss it as a domestic dispute? Would calling them only put her at more risk -- once they got home? It was a dramatic escalation. Talking with them was working at first. You just want to say … man, really you don't want to go to jail! Please! ...more
One time I called because I was afraid she was going to get hurt. it was a couple who entered ...more

Homeless Hero Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax: Can Empathy and Condemnation Go Hand in Hand in New York City?

An item hit the news regarding a homeless man who was killed in New York City recently.  Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax, 31, was stabbed as he intervened in an early-morning altercation between a man and a woman on a Queens sidewalk -- some reports say it was a mugging.  In a scene captured by a surveillance camera, Tale-Yax then walked down the sidewalk, collapsed, and  lay there for about an hour as numerous pedestrians walked by.  ...more