Most Singaporeans will not intervene in lovers' public spat

Most Singaporeans will not intervene in lovers' public spat
Two actors staged a lover's quarrel in the middle of Orchard Road to see if Singaporeans would intervene.

It was supposed to be an act to see if strangers would step in to break up a quarrel between a couple, which could have turned violent.

But the emotions that the two actors felt after participating in this social experiment were very real - especially when they realised that even though they were "fighting" in the middle of Orchard Road on a busy weekend, few people chose to intervene.

"There were definitely moments where people noticed the violence but didn't do anything to help me out," says Miss Santhiya Subramaniam, 22, an applied theatre practitioner.

"I personally felt very discouraged and hurt."

Adds Mr Eqtaffaq Saddam Hussain, 18: "People always noticed the abuse, and would sometimes stop and look on. Several people were visibly concerned."

Their experiment was conducted as part of the We Can! Singapore campaign, organised by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) to end violence towards women.

It was captured on video and uploaded on the Internet on Nov 29. It had garnered over 77,000 views as of press time.

The pair staged their fight five times on one day of a weekend in various parts of Orchard Road.

In it, Mr Hussain scolds, shoves and tugs at the hand of Miss Subramaniam, who appears to be helpless in the face of his aggression.

In only three of the "fights" did someone step in.

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