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Campaign watch: bystanders

Campaign watch: bystanders

The 'bystander effect' is where individuals do not offer help in an emergency situation when other people are present.

The bystander effect

The sad history behind the coining of this term is of violence against women - the case of Kitty Genovese, a twenty eight year old college graduate who was attacked, raped and stabbed to death, when she was coming from work in 1964. As described on Dr. Schwartz' blog:

She cried out for help and, although residents in the apartment building heard her pleas, no one helped with one exception. Someone yelled out the window to the attacker to leave her alone or they would call the police. The attacker ran off, the police were called, refused to believe anything serious happened and did not respond. While Miss Genevose lie on the ground, the attacker returned ten minutes later and stabbed her to death. Despite more cries for help no one responded.

UK: 'Make It Stop'

'Make It Stop' is an interactive film from the Metropolitan Police that allows the viewer to decide how to respond to a domestic violence incident. Would you call 999 (000 in Australia) or ignore what's going on next door? httpv://

India and now global: 'Bell Bajao'

The Bell Bajao ("Ring the Bell" in Hindi) campaign started in India in 2008. The campaign was part of a three-year Clinton Global Initiative commitment to end the pandemic of violence against women in India. It had:

Bell Bajao won the Gold Spike for ‘Best Integrated Campaign’ at Spikes Asia Advertising Awards. In 2010, the campaign is going global and UN United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is Bell Bajao Global‘s first global “Champion.” httpv:// httpv://

South Africa: soap opera 'Soul City'

Soul City Institute for Health & Development Communication is a South African organisation that runs one of the world’s most influential social and behavioural change programmes. One of its strategies for social change is making social issues part of popular and high-quality entertainment formats based on research. A recent episode of the soap opera it produces, Soul City, looked at domestic violence and role of neighbours. httpv://

USA: social marketing campaign

Know Your Power was a social marketing campaign was developed by a team of University of New Hampshire students, staff and faculty. It uses a community of responsibility model to teach young people  how to intervene safely and effectively in cases where sexual assault may be occurring or where there may be risk. The campaign ran active learning group workshops on campus and used posters which you can buy online.

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