Observation of violence or abuse perpetrated on another person or living creature is strangely layered . . . we seem to be able to detach if brutal acts are inflicted on those in another country, during a war, or a riot, even a demonstration. It is simple to believe that we are far removed from the action taking place, that it is not our business, that we could do nothing to help anyway.
Few of us have actually been present while a person was beaten, molested or robbed, or killed. It would be a terrifying experience, but most would do everything to try to help or find assistance. It is beyond understanding, therefore, when a parent or a priest, a teacher or coach is allowed to prey on those who are vulnerable and unable to defend themselves while people who are near, many who are aware of the acts of violence, remain silent and do nothing to protect the victims.
So . . . is this evil which is being inflicted a crime of one person only or are the people who are aware of what is taking place, who could help prevent the damage by speaking up and reporting it, also guilty? Looking the other way, pretending that it isn't the moral responsibility of every person who has knowledge of a crime to take action to stop it, is reprehensible. Justice must include holding those who commit crimes, along with those who by cowardly inaction allow and encourage them, liable.