As humans, we are horrified when we learn that a person in distress is not helped, even when, as in this case, many potential helpers are present. Our horror increases if the person is victimized in a particularly vicious or careless way by fellow human beings.

Our horror is further heightened when we learn that the victim is helpless and the kind of person who normally stimulates our instinct to aid and protect.

Our spontaneous reaction is to say: “Had I been there, I would have helped; what is wrong with these people?” If an incident occurs in a foreign country or culture, it is easy — maybe tempting, as we grapple with something so baffling — to conclude that the particular culture is to blame, that it is being callous, uncaring or egotistical.

No one has helped me or stepped forward to prosecute the crimes against me.

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