Fight or Flight

So I was out in town one night and as is so common these days, most of the night was spent outside in the smoking area. It was pushing twelve and as these things go, the conversation was starting to laze. When suddenly one of the lads broke the numbness with “what the bloody hell is going on there?”

Before most of us fully realised where exactly “there” was, my mate was off, quickly followed by a couple more. Soon it became clear what the commotion was. There was a girl being attacked by a guy a couple of hundred yards down the street.

My friends’ shouts cleared the assaulter, who had just knocked the girl to the ground. While we were checking that the young woman was okay, the cool-as-a-cucumber culprit was spotted trotting casually down the street.

Soon the Calvary was back in pursuit. After ensuring the girl’s safety, our attention turned to pursuing the thug .Yours truly, who was lagging behind at this stage, turned to another mate who had been equally slow on the uptake: ”Should we go after him as well?” ”Eh I don’t know.” ”Ah come on.”

So we took off at a slightly accelerated jog. Who knew the chase could be a marathon? Many others had joined our group and came bursting past us with all the bravery of people that knew the odds were stacked at 20/1 in favour of the pursuing posse!

But sadly or maybe conveniently the chase was short. The thug had out-sprinted us and had rounded the corner and disappeared, hiding with the expertise and craftiness of that bloke in the dodgy red and white sweater from the Where’s Wally books.

Anyway the bad guy had escaped and I was left wheezy and with two questions in my head. Firstly, what exactly were we going to do if we had caught him? Secondly (and the more interesting question), what would I have done if I had witnessed the attack on my own?

Would I have bravely come to the girl’s rescue? Could I alone be her saviour? Could I react in such haste that fear would be left behind? Well I would like to think so, but does anyone really know how they would react until they are faced with such a situation?

What if the poor girl was being attacked by a group of two or more? Would their numbers outweigh my bravery and if it didn’t would that bravery be stupidity? I myself could possibly end up (as has been known to happen), facing a worse fate than the original victim.

Many would recommend keeping out of it. Possibly wise advice. However what if the victim was seriously or even mortally wounded? How would my conscience deal with the fact that I had simply continued on and turned a blind eye?

If somebody was being attacked by a group then maybe the best thing to do would be to get help and call the Gardaí. Also what if it’s a fight between a couple? Could me intervening possibly make things worse and somehow add fuel to the fire!

The one thing I hope I wouldn’t do is nothing, because you never know when that poor unfortunate person under attack could be you. I would hope that somebody would come to my rescue. Honestly, one probably has to experience the situation first hand to know how they would react under such circumstances.

Do you know how you would react? Comment below with your thoughts.

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