French Student Raped On Train While Passengers Just Stood By

The 22-year-old was in such shock that she didn't even realise she'd been attacked until two days later...

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by Sophie Wilkinson |

In utterly messed up news, a French student was raped while travelling on a commuter train on the outskirts of Paris – in front of passengers who did nothing to intervene.

According to Le Parisien paper, the 22-year-old was approached by a stranger while smoking on a platform, but then didn’t pay him much more attention. CCTV shows that, after boarding the train, however, the man followed the student to her seat and continued talking to her. The student ignored him, and he responded by leaning towards her.

Though it might have looked as if he was whispering in her ear, he was kissing her cheeks and neck. She tried to push him off but then he slid his hands down her underwear and proceeded to rape her.

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All of this allegedly happened in full view of other passengers, who didn’t move, let alone come to her rescue or even pull the alarm. Once the train arrived at its destination, Melun, the girl managed to leave the train. Her attacker followed her, though, and tried to assault her again, before eventually leaving.

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The student ran home to her parents’ house, and when they asked about the bruises on her face, she said she’d fallen over. She only came to terms with what happened two days later when she confided in friends, who encouraged her to go to the police. It was only then that they were alerted.

A 38-year-old man has been arrested, but we kind of want to know what the fuck is behind a train full of onlookers not trying to stop when a girl’s being raped. The Bystander Effect is a thing where the more people there are looking at a horrible situation, the more likely no one person will feel responsible enough to take action over the others around them. Everyone thinks, ‘Why is no-one doing anything?’ but doesn’t think to do something themselves.

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But we wonder what the breaking point is? We’d all like to think that we’d intervene in a situation like this, but when push comes to horrible shove, and we’re witnessing something gross, empathy departs and instead we might be in as much shocked disbelief as the victim.

So how do we become an upstander? Here are some pretty interesting tips on how to do it, including physically stepping in between two arguing parties, being a friend and calling the police.

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Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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