If you witnessed domestic abuse in public, would you do something?
Many people simply wouldn't. That's the takeaway from a new video produced by Swedish prank and "social experiment" group STHLM Panda. The video shows a male actor pretending to abuse a female actor in an elevator, both physically and verbally in front of other passengers.
Mashable reports that the video's creators claim only one of the 53 people who were faced with the situation actually intervened. Toward the end, a woman speaks up: "If you touch her, I'm going to call the police." The other bystanders ignored the confrontation, with one woman even asking the couple to stop fighting until she's exited the elevator.
While this experiment was conducted in Sweden, its message is just as applicable in the United States. The video comes at the same time that the White House attempts to tackle sexual assault on college campuses by reminding bystanders of their responsibility to intervene, as part of a new It's On Us campaign. In fact, a new White House PSA released the same week as STHLM Panda's video aims to raise awareness of bystander intervention:
"This isn't a PSA about a sexual assault," says Mad Men actor John Hamm. "It's about being the guy who stops it."
If the Swedish social experiment is anything to judge, we've got work to do.