Would you help rape victim?

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114
Would you help rape victim?

A naked woman bangs on your door late at night screaming that she has been raped.

Would you let her in or call 911 and make her wait outside?

A Florida couple declined to answer the door just before midnight when a nearly naked woman knocked and screamed she had just been raped.

Rather, the homeowners called 911 Monday night.

The couple inside the home refused to let the woman in because they said they were afraid to open their door. In the 911 call, the woman can be heard pleading in the background. The distressed couple begged police to hurry. Their home is in an isolated area, and the couple feared for their safety if they opened the door.

It took about 11 minutes for police to arrive.

A subsequent investigation led to an arrest of a suspect and prompted the spokesman of the DeLand Police Department to remark that "unfortunately fear dictates the response anymore not knowing if (you're) being set up for other criminal activity."

Full story here
Nearly naked rape victim left outside as scared homeowners call 911 - CNN.com

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

If I were alone in a home in a secluded area, or if we didn't have a clear view of the front door from a peephole or window, damn straight I wouldn't open the door even for a naked, screaming woman. Sorry, but I'd be concerned she was another Nancy Garrido or one of those other depraved women who helps their depraved man kidnap another woman.

If my husband or someone else were home with me, or if I had a good view to make sure there wasn't someone else out there, I'd probably let her in *after* I knew the cops were on their way. But I'd probably grab my big kitchen knife first, too, just to be extra safe.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

What Stacey said. I would call the cops first, grab a weapon and maybe let her in if I could see clearly and DH was home.

We don't get a clear view of our driveway until we open the door so I'm probably thinking of calling the police. But I live under 5 minutes from police station. When our Co2 alarm went off they were here in 5 minutes with the FD. I'm thinking they would FLY for a potential rape victim.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

Count me among those who wouldn't open the door. The rapist could be lingering or maybe it's a ruse to get me to open the door. I would call 911 and watch from the camera pointed at the front door.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I would not let a strange half naked woman in my house. I would however call the police. We live in the city and the police could be here quickly.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

I would. I would let her in as quickly as possible and shut the door behind her, but there is no way I could stand to let someone sit outside my door suffering, not knowing if someone was going to come up behind her and shoot her before the police got there. I just couldn't handle it even at risk to myself. I know I am probably too trusting from growing up in a small town, but that is just how I grew up people helped each other even if it put them at risk.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Gloria, can you see the area around your front door before you open it? How would you know that she's not faking it and a man with a gun isn't right behind her, ready to rape *you*? How would you know it's not a man with a gun screaming, to get in to rape you, if you can't see? It's one thing to help each other out; it's quite another to just be downright stupid and open to the door to someone who wants to hurt you. I've done a ton of things to help out perfect strangers, even putting myself at great physical risk on occasion, but I would never open the door to my home if I couldn't see who I was letting in.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"Spacers" wrote:

Gloria, can you see the area around your front door before you open it? How would you know that she's not faking it and a man with a gun isn't right behind her, ready to rape *you*? How would you know it's not a man with a gun screaming, to get in to rape you, if you can't see? It's one thing to help each other out; it's quite another to just be downright stupid and open to the door to someone who wants to hurt you. I've done a ton of things to help out perfect strangers, even putting myself at great physical risk on occasion, but I would never open the door to my home if I couldn't see who I was letting in.

I understand the reasons why other people wouldn't do it and wouldn't fault them for it, but I could never live with myself if something happened to her and I could have prevented it. I have a window by my front door so I can see out, but even if it didn't I don't think that would stop me from letting someone in that was screaming for help. I guess I am just too tender hearted and I just wouldn't be able to help myself.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Yep, I'd let her in. I could not bear to listen to a human being on the other side of the door who may be hurt or in danger.

Something nearly like this happened to my Mom like 15 years ago. My parents were in bed and the doorbell rang, it was after mignight. Two teenaged girls were there in tears, their boyfriend had kicked them out of the car or they had run from a party that got busted, I forget the deal. Anyway they were in the middle of suburban neighborhoods with houses like an acre apart and miles from a trainstation. My Mom took them in and set them up with blankets and pillows and whatnot in the basement. She was scared and had a hard time sleeping, wondering if they were going to ransack the house/let in men to steal things etc etc.

Come morning they woke up, my Mom made them pancakes, and drove them to the train station. Turns out that they had originally gone to the house across the street. The woman had refused to open the door but had sent these girls to my parents home thinking that THEY would let them in. They had a reputation as helpers, you see.

So yes, I guess the desire to help people in need, perhaps at our own risk, runs in my blood. I cannot IMAGINE listening to a woman in pain screaming for help for 10 minutes and sitting inside my warm safe home doing NOTHING. Ick.

We have transom windows all around our door, as well as windows all over the place, but still.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

I honestly think I would let her in on impulse without even thinking about it. Now, having read this debate and thinking about it, I might grab the phone and dial 911 before I opened the door, just to be on the line with the operator. My husband rides his bike to the police station every day, so that is how close we are. It wouldnt take them long to get here at all. Plus I can see my front door area from the window, and I live right in town, so my neighbors are close. If DH was home, there is no way he would leave her outside by herself, though knowing him he would probably make the kids and I stay inside while he goes outside to help her.

Joined: 05/13/13
Posts: 34

I would absolutely let her in, and do my best to help her in any way possible until the police arrived. I would hope that if I were ever in that situation myself to have someone kind hearted on the other side of that door as well.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I would probably let her in. Would I be concerned for safety, a little, I actually can not see well out on to my front patio, the door and two windows facing the patio have a bubbled glass and there is no light out there, only what I can get out there from the front room. I still couldn't leave someone out there alone. I have neighbours nearby though. The police station is about 2 minutes away.

My Parents had something similar when I was a kid, a neighbour's husband had beaten her up and she came to my parents house for help. There was no hesitation on letting her in, even though her husband may have been around or not they didn't know.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6560

I wanted to add that I am not tall enough to see outside the peek hole in our door, so if someone is standing very close to the door that I can not see them from the living room, I can not see who is at the door at all until I open it.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I would help her. Honestly, before this debate it wouldn't have even occurred to me to not open the door. Now that I have read it, maybe I would stop to grab my phone and call 911 first, but honestly I think I would still be too worried that the rapist was going to grab her, so I probably wouldn't wait.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3185

This is a tough one. My first instinct is yes, of course I'd open the door and let her in. Then I think, what about the kids? I watch a lot of Criminal Minds, that could be a ploy of some kind. Then I think it would be a really elaborate ploy.

Truth is, we live across the street from a police station. I like to think I would let her in while dialing 911, since we know that they show up here within a few minutes.

But I can't promise that I know. I hope I would let her in.

Joined: 05/13/02
Posts: 414

I'm of the same mindset as Laurie and Alissa. Criminal Minds has screwed me up now lol.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I would let her in and probably not think twice about it. I don't think I could help it. I watched a terrible accident in front of us on the highway once, and with my DH calling 911 and my baby girl in the back seat I ran through broken glass and got inside that upside down Durango to help the poor dad trapped in the front seat, with engine fluids smoking and all that. I couldn't help myself. I had to do something even though looking back I put myself in a perilous position. I just couldn't stand by and do nothing. It was probably stupid of me, but like I said I just had to do something.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3185

I think only worrying about my kids would hold me back. If they weren't home I wouldn't hesitate. And I know that isn't terribly logical.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I think only worrying about my kids would hold me back. If they weren't home I wouldn't hesitate. And I know that isn't terribly logical.

Doesn't sound illogical to me at all. I think as mothers we have this inate need to protect and help people, even if they're not our own kids, whether you're the type to open the door or not.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3185

"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Doesn't sound illogical to me at all. I think as mothers we have this inate need to protect and help people, even if they're not our own kids, whether you're the type to open the door or not.

I think the idea that a naked terrified woman poses a threat to my kids is illogical, perhaps. But as you said, it's an innate need, it's very primal.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I guess my thought is "I suppose the naked screaming lady could be in cahoots with a criminal who wants to get me too....but how likely is that?" I know it could and very occasionally does happen that a woman helps a man find his rape victims, but I don't think it's terribly common. Not common enough to really worry about, you know? I mean, if a criminal were that desperate to get in to my house, they could just break a window.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3311

I really don't think i know what i would do until it actually happened. I want to think i would let her in, but its really hard for me to say without experiencing it. I really could see it going both ways.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4114

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I guess my thought is "I suppose the naked screaming lady could be in cahoots with a criminal who wants to get me too....but how likely is that?" I know it could and very occasionally does happen that a woman helps a man find his rape victims, but I don't think it's terribly common. Not common enough to really worry about, you know? I mean, if a criminal were that desperate to get in to my house, they could just break a window.

That is my thinking. It seems like there are a hundred easier ways if someone really wanted to get in. I mean most of the time my doors aren't even locked because the kids are going in and out all the time. Plus it seems like it would likely attract MORE attention from the neighbors for someone to be screaming at the door making it likely that someone else would call 911, doesn't seem like a great plan for a robbery.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1535

Sitting here thinking about it I keep thinking of all the perfect responses to this. But in reality if it actually occurs I know I would run on adrenaline and do whatever felt right.

A couple of weeks ago I was coming home from a jog and there was a man that was acting really strange in front of my next door neighbors. I asked if he needed help and he took off and jumped the fence into their backyard. I followed him. I didnt mean to confront him or anything, but I wanted to make sure he didnt try to go into their house as they are a very old little couple. In retrospect I should have stayed on the sidewalk and call the cops, but I acted on instinct. He ended up being someone that was trying to hide from the cops and was going to hide out in the shed in my neighbors yard. He was looking for unlocked gates. I am very happy that all our gates are locked, even though we lock them to keep Carson in and didnt think about keeping people out

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3185

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

That is my thinking. It seems like there are a hundred easier ways if someone really wanted to get in. I mean most of the time my doors aren't even locked because the kids are going in and out all the time. Plus it seems like it would likely attract MORE attention from the neighbors for someone to be screaming at the door making it likely that someone else would call 911, doesn't seem like a great plan for a robbery.

I agree with this. And our doors aren't always locked either, given our proximity to our neighbors, to the police station, etc.

I hope I would do the right thing. I like to think I would. I just can't say 100%. I seem to have good instincts in a crisis -- I once caught my husband when he fainted, making sure to wedge my body between his falling head and the floor because I know people who faint often injure themselves in the fall -- but I don't know, when my kids are around I might get irrationally overprotective.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

If husband was home.. I would wake him and let her in.
If husband not home.. I would call 911 wake the boys have one call the neighbors on my cell, stick my gun in my pocket and let her in...