Watch CBSN Live

"Social experiment" captures reaction to abuse

A Swedish group behind a series of online gags took on the very serious topic of abusive relationships with their latest video, and the results were revealing.

The organization, called STHLM Panda, says it routinely does "social experiments, joking with people and documenting the society we live in," but they were left disappointed by their latest experiment, for which they put a hidden camera in an elevator and had actors portray a couple in an abusive relationship.

In total, 53 members of the public rode the elevator as the male actor pretended to verbally and physically abuse his partner.

Konrad Ydhage, one of the actors and people behind STHLM Panda, said before the experiment, he expected about half of the people who witnessed the behavior to try and intervene, or at least to say something.

But of the 53, only one woman spoke up, warning the man, "I'm gonna call the police if you touch her again."

"We were expecting that about 50% would intervene," Ydhage told Britain's "The Guardian" newspaper. I was prepared to take a hit by the bigger lads who entered the lift. But sadly enough they walked out on the girl."

Nobody else tried to intervene on the woman's behalf. One woman who rode the elevator even seemed keen to leave the couple to it.

"I'm here, too. Please let me get off first," she said.

View CBS News In