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Kitty Genovese - Woman

Essay by   •  January 30, 2018  •  Creative Writing  •  358 Words (2 Pages)  •  617 Views

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On March 13, 1964 a woman by the name of Catherine “Kitty” Genovese was coming back to her apartment in Queens, New York at 3:00 a.m. when she was impaled to death by a serial killer. According to the news, the said attack was about 30 minutes long. During the attack, Kitty Genovese screamed for help numerous times. The killer left the scene when the attention of a neighbor was attracted. Ten minutes later, the killer returned to the scene and murdered Genovese. It came to attention that 38 people witnessed the attack and murder, but all thirty-eight failed to report it until after the murder. This ordeal got the attention of many people including scientists and psychologists who wanted to figure out why this occurred. Later, the events that were published by the news were found to be false. It seemed as if the news was experiencing the bystander effect as well, because their information did not contribute to the actual facts. There were not 38 witnesses to the crime, but several had heard the screams and a few calls were made to the police during the attack. But there was still talk about something that affected the minds of people during emergency situations. This phenomenon has become known as the Bystander Effect. There were several cases that are fairly similar to the Genovese one. As well as the Genovese case, these occurrences attracted the attention of many scientists and even the news had something to say about “apathy.” Is the bystander effect real? My hypothesis is that the bystander effect is in fact, a real everyday occurrence that limits the help offered by people. This is due to the number of bystander present during a given situation. The Bystander Effect is the social psychological idea that refers to cases in which individuals are incapable of offering help to a victim in distress when others are present. The probability of help is related to the number of bystanders during a situation. In other words, the more bystanders present, the more likely it is that help will not be provided, or a very slow response will occur.



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