We once had the paradigm that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Today, we are rather heading towards the concept that children are their parents’ private matter – said Anna Krawczak from the Empowering Children Foundation in the “#BezKitu Campaign” on TVN24. She referred to the case of the death of 14-year-old Natalia from Andrychów and, more broadly, to social reactions to this type of situations. The expert mentioned the “phenomenon of diffusion of responsibility” and the “phenomenon of the crisis of care”.
On Tuesday, 14-year-old Natalia sat alone in the center of Andrychów for several hours. She was sitting next to a shop in the city center, about 500 meters from the police station. No one passing by was interested in her. When the teenager got to the hospital, it was too late and she died. Janusz Kowalski, spokesman for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Kraków, said on Friday that the preliminary cause of death was indicated by experts as brain death, which occurred as a result of cerebral edema caused by massive intracerebellar bleeding.
At the end of November, the editorial team of “Dzień Dobry TVN” as part of the “Urban Jungle” series conducted an experiment in which a boy without a jacket sits on a bench on a cold day. They checked how many people would care about his fate. Of the approximately 800 people who passed by, only seven women and three men were interested in his fate.
“The phenomenon of diffusion of responsibility”
Anna Krawczak from the Empowering Children Foundation spoke about social reactions to this type of situations in the “#BezKitu Campaign” on TVN24.
The expert, referring to the experiment conducted by “Dzień Dobry TVN”, said that each of us would like to see ourselves in the role of one of the women who stopped and wanted to help the child, “and in reality there is a high probability that we would be on the side of these people “non-stopping”. She added that this is “quite characteristic of the phenomenon of diffusion of responsibility.”
– It is much less likely that seeing a child freezing at the bus stop and there is no adult nearby will cause us to react because we feel responsible for this situation. However, in a situation where the street is full of people, it is very easy to start thinking that there will be another person who will react, and we “don’t have time, we have objectively more important things to do,” Krawczak said.
“Crisis of care”
Referring to the case of the death of Natalia from Andrychów, she said that this case is currently being analyzed by the prosecutor’s office and we need to wait for its resolution. – However, at the level of the reactions of people who passed Natalia, I think that the phenomenon of dispersed responsibility has certainly emerged, but also the phenomenon of a crisis of care – continued the representative of the Empowering Children Foundation.
She said that currently “we live in times when being interested in another person, especially a child, is not a natural attitude.” – We used to have this paradigm that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Today we are rather heading towards a concept that says that children are a private matter for their parents. Which means that third parties, passers-by, but also neighbors, but also teachers, simply people surrounding the child, should not be excessively interested in him, because he has his own representatives – said the expert.
– This is, of course, not Natalia’s case in the sense that she was not a child who was abused in her family, but she was a child whose fate at that moment depended on the reactivity of people who would show concern for her and who would be interested in her. But there was no such reaction, Anna Krawczak pointed out.
Main photo source: TVN24