# Good Men Watching

2016-03-10 18:57

Every day we hear of muggings, murders, rapes, hijackings and all sorts of criminal activity – and because we hear so much, it starts to become background noise. A couple of days ago I was doing some work in a coffee shop and was told of 2 separate incidents where friends had been held up at gun-point.

I barely looked up from what I was doing – and I realised that incidents like these have become “situation normal”. We no longer notice and we cease to be outraged.

It took the murder of a young girl running in Tokai forest to get my attention – and then another young girl in a toilet in Khayelitsha.

What now, now that you’ve got my attention? Yes I’m outraged – by the senseless murders and by the difference in the response from the police. I can write to government to demand improved service from the police. I can write to the newspaper to add to the noise. Or, I can take some responsibility.

Part of my outrage is that these murderers have made me a potential murderer. When I walk down the road and a woman comes toward me she has to, for her own safety, see me as a potential threat. So what am I doing to make open spaces safe?

We are so caught up in our own problems and issues and we are taught not to interfere in other people “stuff” that we build a cocoon around ourselves and we don’t see those around us. For the criminal this is an ideal situation – isolated victims and unseeing witnesses.

There are many, many good men out there. We don’t have to interfere, but we can be observant. We can notice a potential situation, a dodgy character hanging about, an oblivious potential victim and we can watch and record. We all have camera / cell phones. If the bad guys know that they have been seen it may give them pause and a situation may be avoided.

There may be times, as there already are, where we do have to intervene where we see someone being harassed, but more often than not, our “watching” will be enough.

Someone must have seen Franziska’s murderers before they struck – a group of men who probably looked out of place in the forest. Someone must have seen Sinoxolo’s murderer hanging about or leaving the toilets. If these murderers knew they had been seen would they have continued?

So let’s start a movement #goodmenwatching

Alan is a retirement coach and concerned elder. He believes that it is essential for good men to stand up and take action against the orgy of violence that is plaguing our country.

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AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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