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The Forum > General Discussion > Good samaritans

Good samaritans

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Just saw an news item on a possible day to honour good samaritans. I think that is a great idea.

Now for the controversial bit.
We have all heard and seen the stories of good samaritans becoming the victim and even, in the case of domestics, both parties turning on the do gooder. How should one deal with such situations. People have been assaulted, even killed, just for asking people to stop swearing or for asking someone to stop smoking on a train. No wonder shows like current affair can regularly do shows exposing how unwilling people are to help someone in distress and it is no suprise that people are scared to intervene lest they end up attacked themselves or worse.

I would like to think I would have the courage to stand up in a situation where someone was being attacked but I dread the consequences of doing so and that might be enough to keep me quiet.

In thinking about how I would like to act it occurred to me that maybe the best way would be to just clout the miscreant involved. Pre-emptive defense if you like. If that person is already being violent then could it be justified for someone to just flatten them without all the normal escalation that occurs when you ask someone to stop hitting his missus or mugging some wino.

How far can you go as a "good samaritan" and is there (should there be) any protection under the law for someone acting in good faith to protect someone who cant protect themselves?
Posted by mikk, Sunday, 30 August 2009 5:30:32 PM
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It is an interesting thought but a shame to think we need it.
Much like debate in the net security thread we need to be wise, take care and think before we get involved.
That too is wrong but true.
I am on the road daily, stop for nearly every car in trouble.
Last week struggled to get my jack under a womans van, she did the safe thing, asked her children quietly to cross the road.
They pretend an interest in trees while I changed the tyer.
Another motorist stopped said thanks to me then got on his way.
tyer changed I wished her well and retreated with my jack.
Her concern was real, she did not say thanks, her kids jumped in the van without looking at me.
Do we need a day to formalize good behavior? no just maybe it would be used by slugs to take advantage of people in trouble.
Thanks is a great reward.
Knowing you have done it is even better, knowing you should have but did not?
Weak.
See once we would have chatted all of us, but we all of us, had to be aware we have to be careful.
That is not the world we should be proud of
Posted by Belly, Monday, 31 August 2009 3:47:14 AM
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Anyone is allowed to use minimal required and appropriate force to stop or avoid the occurrence of personal threat to themselves or a third party.

The force needs to be appropriate to the threat, and the threat needs to imminent. But the seriousness of the threat is dependant on many factors. If the threat is coming from some 2 meter tall 150 kilo bikie and you're 5 foot nothing 60 kilo's ringing wet then then use of 'excessive force' relative to the situation could be defended. But get your story straight before you start talking.
Posted by StG, Monday, 31 August 2009 8:23:08 AM
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Morning Mikk. A situation I seem to run in to regularly is people swearing loudly at parks or where I have kids playing. Now Iíll ignore the odd loud conversation but repetitive loud foul language and Iíll tell them to cut it out and there are small children around.

So far so good.

Did have a situation a little while ago, me and a friend in a cafť and directly behind me two older teens being silly and the boy hurt the girl. My friend leapt up and shouted at the boy that that was enough and how dare he hurt someoneÖ actually the boy got the lecture of a lifetime. Since my companion was a small women in her 60ís my job was just to swivel in my seat and look threatening. But really I didnít agree, they were being scatty as teens do and the girl didnít appear hurt to me.

In NZ I had force explained to me by the police. If they push you can push back, if they hit you can hit back. It appeared it has to be quite equal. Bugger waiting for anyone to hit first.
Posted by The Pied Piper, Monday, 31 August 2009 8:44:13 AM
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its not so much what we do...[or dont do]...

as much as..why we chose either...see.. re-active people are looking for others..to break their idea of good/bad...thus think..its fine to yell at say..a smoker..yet wont yell at generic/cripple doing the same thing

because we all know the healtrhy/idiots..are trying to murder the rest of us by passive smoking...yet dont complain to that dignified old lady..reeking her pheromoans and perfume..giving even smokers astmatic reaction..to their chemical smog/smell/stink..[gas warfare]

i know a guy..gets very upset with cigarette buts..[being dropped by smokers...gets his jollies from a mightier/..better than thou...via public abuse..loudly driven home his..ego trip..on his selected/victim

i just pick up the butt..and put it in my pocket....noting the time and date...so if the dude is criminal...[as revealed by his unthinking crime...dropping his dna/butt...in a public place..his butt contains his dna...i know he was here now..because his dna is in his butt

think..why we need to feel good..about ourselves..by hating others...how..do we ..by finding fault in others..can we so overlook the faults..we have as our own...[some imagry of a stick in the eye..[complared to a planche]..but that was another time...lol

interesting topic lets see how many pass the egho test...i know that premptive thinki ng is futile...feel good...the thing is when it goes down...then do you step up...or be aware to testify as to what happend in court...so the abuser gets jail time...be like the media...time date crime evidennce...get their butt
Posted by one under god, Monday, 31 August 2009 10:02:40 AM
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Dear Mikk,

I suppose it is a question of discretion and
judgement. However, I couldn't simply walk away
if anyone was in serious trouble - be it car
trouble on the road - or being threatened by
someone. I've been lucky so far I guess - because
there have been situations where the people doing
the threatening were bigger and stronger then me -
and I simply jumped in - madder than heck - and
confronted them. Perhaps it was my anger that
deterred them - but I could have been seriously
hurt - and I wasn't. They backed off. I tend to
react to things without much thought of the
consequences to me - and I know that one day I'll
live to regret it. But then, I've always done
what I thought was right at the time. And to me
it's just wrong to walk away from a situation where
your help could help. I guess this comes from being
bullied at school - I know what it feels like - when
nobody helps or stands by you - and you feel so alone.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 31 August 2009 12:02:02 PM
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