Re: When is it time to step in?
After having read through your replies I can identify two factors that seem important. One is to think of non-violent ways to intervene. What was it? "the police are on their way".
The other is to understand the laws involved in a particular situation.
One incident where i was glad i didn't 'step in' was on a bus. A drunk and angry man was unable to find a seat and starting abusing people because no one would stand up for him. He then stormed to the front of the bus and started slamming on the doors and swore at the driver, a lady, to let him off. I was in the middle of traffic at night and the driver could not open the doors because it would have put him and many others in a dangerous situation.
Mind you the drunk didn't appreciate the favour being done to him and started swearing at the driver. I swore he was about to hit her and was about to jump up when the driver said, "i remember you, your that same guy that gave me trouble on the XYZ last month, your never getting on a bus I'm driving again and I'll make sure that anyone I know doesn't pick you up". Apparently this was the right thing to say because he suddenly realised that he could be identified and that he may have to start looking for a different way home. He continued to swear and carry on but was certainly much more controlled after this and got off at the next stop.
I was then very apparent that had I got up i would have just escalated the situation which, quite honestly, the driver had under control the whole time. She was trained and experienced in handling the situation and did exactly the right thing, and so did I.
Perhaps sometimes we need the courage to trust others?
However I still think that we have to be prepared to act but just going the biff is never going to be a good idea. Has anyone else got any suggestions?