Video shows bystanders ignoring domestic abuse video

A Swedish couple test how people react when faced with abuse.

What would you do if you saw domestic violence happening right in front of you?

In New Zealand, police attend a domestic violence incident every seven minutes and one in three women experiences psychological or physical abuse from their partners in their lifetime.

But it is a global problem and it prompted a Swedish group to conduct a social experiment to see if people would intervene if they saw a woman being shouted at and physically abused by her partner in an elevator.

Just one in 53 people intervened.

In a video of the experiment, one woman stands with her shopping during the incident, keeping to herself, even when a slap is heard.

Another girl stands playing on her phone, while another woman covers her ears so she does not have to listen to the argument.

A man observes the assault and then exits the elevator despite hearing the assailant telling the girl that he will "kill her".

Finally a woman in a blue coat tells the man that she will call the police if he touches her again.

She is shocked when the actors tell her she is the first person to intervene.

"I can't believe people are not reacting," she said.

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Sweden has struggled recently with dealing with domestic abuse.

A report released this year showed 81 per cent of Swedish women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15, compared to the European Union average of 55 per cent.

That was counteracted somewhat by the fact that Sweden also has some of the highest rates in the world of people reporting crime.

In New Zealand, police estimate only 18 per cent of domestic violence incidents are reported.

A survey by the It's Not Ok anti-family violence campaign found 96 per cent of New Zealanders thought everyone should try to help victims of violence and encourage violent people to change their behaviour.

One in three people have taken some action as a result of the campaign.

What would you do if you were confronted by that situation? Would you have the courage to intervene?

 - Stuff

Related Links

'How could I protect myself?' video

Harassed 100 times in 10 hours video

High cost of domestic violence

Domestic violence shock

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