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Dangerous Apathy

From Our Readers

To the Editors of The Crimson:

On Monday April 14, a bright, sunny day around noon, I looked out my office window from the eighth floor of Holyoke Center. To my horror, I saw a man beating a woman, down on the corner of Dunster and Winthrop Streets. As I watched him smack her repeatedly on the side of the head, and forcibly prevent her from running away, I dialed 911 for help. Between the time that I first saw this spectacle and finished telling the police where and what it was, I must have watched at least 30 people walk down Dunster Street--without stopping. There is a lot of traffic at that time of day, especially in good weather. Harvard students mostly. And not a single one of them stopped--many looked, but none stopped. Why?!

Is it fear? Indifference? Did they think it was none of their business, a man beating a woman? Maybe just a domestic quarrel, perhaps? God only knows what was going through their minds. It doesn't really matter. They walked by, and the violence continued.

When we are witness to violence, of any kind, it is our business. By not taking steps to stop it, we become participants in the very thing we want so much to close our eyes to. Closing our eyes, blocking our ears, gave that man permission, license, to keep on beating that woman.

Were you one of the ones who walked by? Julie Buchinski '84

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