Taking Action Against Violence With Civil Courage

Violence in schools, on the streets and at home is the order of the day for many children. Children are teased, beaten or neglected. Sometimes they suffer from such acts of violence for a very long time – for some, the nightmare never seems to end. When you witness violence against a child, you must not look away. If you do nothing about it, you indirectly prove the perpetrator right. Even worse, you are actually participating by not helping the victim.

Civil courage means that in such cases you intervene or get help. As a child, you should never get directly involved in an argument. This would only put you in danger. Want to know how you can still show moral courage and help a victim of violence? Read on to find out how!

Moral Courage Is Important Because…

…assaults get worse and worse if no one does anything about it.
…the perpetrator may look for more victims.
…you might be next.
…you should support each other as part of a social society.
…violence should never be accepted or tolerated.
…you become an accomplice if you do nothing against violence.

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So you see: violence concerns us all. It is easy to look the other way. But it is difficult to be courageous. It is not easy for anyone to make themselves unpopular with a violent person. The fear of becoming a victim yourself is normal. Nevertheless, bullying and violent attacks can usually only be stopped if the victim receives support.

Always remember that you may be in a situation where you need help yourself. Then you wouldn’t want anyone to help you either, would you?

What You Can Do In Violent Situations

Now you know why moral courage is so important in our society. Surely you are now asking yourself how you can help if you are not supposed to intervene directly. The following tips are intended to show you possible ways of behaving in violent situations.

Call Experts For Help

Depending on the nature of the act of violence, it may be necessary to call in experts. In any case, it is right to call the police if massive physical violence has been committed. In addition, if injuries have occurred, you must notify the rescue services.

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Especially if the situation seems quite dicey and you yourself are in danger, please call the police without hesitation.

Take Care Of The Victim

As long as you do not put yourself in danger, you can and should provide first aid. If the perpetrator has left the scene, approach the victim. Check that he or she is conscious and still breathing. Ask how he or she is doing and if anything hurts. Check the situation and consider whether to call the rescue.

If you know first aid techniques, use them if necessary. Always be sure to talk to the victim and reassure him. Reassure him or her that help is on the way as soon as you make the emergency call.

Testify As A Witness

You can help prevent future acts of violence of this nature by helping to establish the truth. If there are no witnesses because those present are “looking the other way,” it is the victim’s word against the perpetrator’s. Then the victim sometimes has a hard time proving his or her accusations.

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That is why it helps immensely if you make yourself available as a witness. If you have called the police and are at the scene of the crime, you will probably be asked about the incident anyway. Remember that you must always tell the truth. If it comes to testifying, take an adult with you to support you. This way you can go to the police quite relaxed, because you are not alone.

Testifying as a witness takes a little time, but it is not a big effort. All the more you help the victim to get his rights. Again, maybe next time you’ll be the one who needs help. That’s why you should accept the small effort of testifying and show moral courage.

Ask Others To Help

There’s no point in getting into a dangerous situation all by yourself. If adults or older children are around, tell them about what happened. Encourage them to help you. Together you are stronger. That way, one can tend to the victim while the other makes an emergency call. A third person may have remembered exactly what the perpetrator looked like and can tell the police about it.

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Observe And Memorize What Happened

To be able to testify as a witness, you need to have a good recollection of what happened. The sequence of events is how the violent act happened. Who was involved? What happened first? And what came next? How did the conflict come about?

Observe what happened and memorize the appearance of the perpetrators. For example, take notes of the perpetrator’s license plate number. While you are observing and taking notes, you can make an emergency call or call other people for help.

Also, if you are too scared to help otherwise, you can be supportive by observing. Do not get involved in what is happening, stay in the background, and help the victim by being a witness for them later.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
What does…
Moral courage
Crime scene

2) Explain why moral courage is so important. Why should children also show moral courage?

3) If you observe an act of violence, you should not get directly involved. How can you still help the victim?

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