Recently a YouTube video was released showing a social experiment done by STHLM PANDA. During this experiment unknowing persons entering an elevator witnessed verbal and physical abuse. In all of the scenarios shown throughout the video a male actor was yelling, pushing and threatening a female actor who acted defensively, but was clearly the victim.
The intention was to see if someone would have the courage to interfere. Most of the unknowing participants in the experiment turned away, pretending not to witness what was happening. Some look at their phones, turn their back, some even just leave the elevator entirely.
The experiment concluded at the end of the day with one out of fifty-three people deciding to react in defense to the person being abused. The one person who did react in defense of the victim stated simply that she would call the police if the abuser’s actions continued. The woman that reacted was in disbelief when she was told she was the only one who had reacted.
The message the video is attempting to show is the abuse toward women in Sweden, stating at the end of the video “every 20 minutes a woman is abused in Sweden.” Through social networks, STHLM PANDA is attempting to raise the awareness not only of the abuse that is prevalent in Sweden, but also of those who simply ignore its presence. The video shines light on social norms and poses the question to the viewer, “If you were in this situation then what action, if any, would you take?”