Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate

The primary role of the bystander effect in the Kitty Genovese case, where witnesses watched the occurrence of the attack, has been to illuminate anti-crime actions. These witnesses relied on other people to intervene and at least call the police but did not interfere with the crime. As a result, Genovese died because everyone in the crowd expected another person to act (Agazue, 2021). This case has been used to argue that when more people are gathered around a crime, there are fewer chances of anyone intervening to stop it from happening as opposed to a single witness. The discussion presents the role of the bystander effect in Genovese’s case as the basis for improving future approaches to crime.

Psychologically, a witness is more likely to take action when fewer witnesses are present. Reducing crime can be challenging if these factors are considered, especially when the community is involved (Agazue, 2021). I think the law should consider enforcing personal responsibility towards strangers to ensure that observers act on a crime. Many argue that adding personal responsibility for strangers’ safety is tedious and time-consuming. However, the enforcement is most likely to ensure that one is confident enough to act even when witnesses are around.

The law enforces stranger safety responsibilities on individuals to empower willing witnesses to act against crime without fear. Besides, such an approach makes all individuals aware of emergency protocols to use in violent cases. Bestowing the responsibility to safeguard each other ensures that civilians can respond to non-violent attacks and resolve them. In most cases, the involvement of police escalates issues such as fear in the neighborhood, but civilians can handle non-violent situations calmly.

I agree that the bystander effect is used in psychology when a situation that involves many people in a murder case. Bystanders witness and panic; they take time to acknowledge the authority of the incident. Being a group may delay the process of affirming that this event occurred near you. Through a friendship or a strange encounter, you may opt to help to be the only person around when something happens near. During the rape and murder incident of Genovese, many people viewed it, but they were not willing to help (Agazue, 2021). Psychologically, being alone in a bad situation triggers an individual’s conscience to act fast, while a crowd may delay this process.

According to the report, the lady screamed for a long time without any aid, meaning there was no willing soul. Though the case filled may be extreme on a bystander, training the society and creating awareness on the sacredness of life may serve the situation right. Requesting help may save a life; hence, someone should have done that. In most cases, people tend to pretend that they do not feel for the affected individuals but gossip afterward about the issue.

If the law imposes some duties on the bystanders, people may act reasonably to the occurring atrocities. Various cases depend on witnesses to utter words on what they saw and heard during these criminal activities. Although this may sound negative, if the witnesses were reported for their silence, we could learn something from them and take charge of the lives of strangers. Physically intervening does not help any situation but calling the police would have helped. This charity activity may expose the reporters to harm and save the matter. I am sure if some duties are stated by the law upon strangers minimizing bystanders’ effect on society. Law enforced om us towards strangers will also assist in saving lives and minimizing criminal activities.


Agazue, C. (2021). Revisiting the gender-relations debate in the violent murder of Kitty Genovese: Another side of gender-bias favoring women in bystander reactions to emergencies. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 58. Web.

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"Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate." LawBirdie, 19 Aug. 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate'. 19 August.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate." August 19, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate." August 19, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Forms of Direct Address: Gender-Relations Debate." August 19, 2023.