Cross-National CCTV Footage Shows Low Victimization Risk for Bystander Interveners in Public Conflicts

Liebst, Lasse Suonperä and Philpot, Richard and Levine, Mark and Lindegaard, Marie Rosenkrantz (2021) Cross-National CCTV Footage Shows Low Victimization Risk for Bystander Interveners in Public Conflicts. Psychology of Violence, 11 (1). pp. 11-18. ISSN 2152-0828

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Objective: Accumulating evidence shows that bystanders witnessing public disputes frequently intervene to help. However, little is known regarding the risks entailed for those bystanders who enter the fray to stop conflicts. This study systematically examined the prevalence of bystander victimizations and the associated risk factors. Method: Data were a cross-national sample of 93 surveillance camera recordings of real-life public disputes, capturing the potential victimizations of 417 intervening and 636 nonintervening bystanders. Results: Data showed that interveners were rarely physically harmed-at a rate of 3.6%-and noninterveners were virtually never victimized. Confirmatory regression results showed that conflict party affiliation was a moderately robust predictor of bystander victimization. The gender of the intervener was a highly fragile risk factor. More severe conflicts were not associated with a higher victimization likelihood. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the value of naturalistic observation for bystander research and emphasize the need for evidence-based bystander intervention recommendations. Data, materials, and postprint are available at

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology of Violence
Additional Information:
©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/vio0000299
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? bystander victimizationhelping behaviorvideo observationsocial psychologyhealth(social science)applied psychology ??
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Deposited On:
24 Aug 2020 11:45
Last Modified:
08 Mar 2024 00:55