A shocking social experiment has revealed how the public is much less likely to intervene in incidences of female violence than male violence.
The experiment saw two actors - one male, once female - stage an angry confrontation in the busy Mint Street Park in London.
In the first scenario, the man hits the woman. A number of passersby confront him, with one woman saying: “Leave her alone. Are you slapping her? Leave her alone.”
She then proceeds to ask the female actor if she is alright, adding to the man: “Jesus, that is not cool alright.”
But when the situation is reversed, with the woman slapping the man, there was virtually no reaction.
The team behind the experiment, filmed for a new BBC3 documentary entitled ‘The Rise of Female Violence’, interviewed some onlookers afterwards.
One woman who witnessed the fight said: “It crossed my mind that it was getting a bit out of hand, their argument but I just kind of thought to just sort of turn away and ignore.”
Another man said: “It was a minor skirmish she pushed him around, that’s what I noticed. If it was the other way round, yes it would have felt awkward.”
‘The Rise of Female Violence’ examines the public’s perceptions surrounding the issue.
One in five of all violent crimes and a third of domestic violence incidents reported in the England and Wales Crime survey 2013-14 involved a female perpetrator.
The Rise of Female Violence is part of BBC Three’s Breaking the Mould, a season of documentaries challenging our perception of gender. It airs on 9 November at 9pm.