Looking the other way when some outrage is taking place is not necessarily a third world trait, it seems.
For a poor 20-year-old girl had wrestle with a brute right on a busy London road even as motorists whizzed past, none of them passing to stop to go to her rescue or even to alert the police.
The unidentified girl was pinned to the ground on a road which, even though it was 1am, was well lit and busy.
"This was a lengthy and sustained attack and anybody who witnessed it as they drove past would have been left in no doubt as to what was happening to this woman," the Daily Mail quotes a police official as saying.
Fortunately she finally escaped being raped, but that was solely due to her bravery and determination not to give in, the police said.
She was returning home from a night out and had just finished talking to a friend on her mobile when she was attacked on Riverside Road in Stockton-on-Tees on Monday.
The man, who had been riding a bike and was wearing a white hoodie, first tried to drag her into the dark recesses of a shopping centre car park to carry out his sex attack.
When she fought back he punched her in the face repeatedly before ripping her clothes off and sexually assaulting her on the busy road.
Ignoring her obvious plight, motorists passed by without even stopping to help.
As the woman recovered at home with her family, Detective Sergeant Mick Todd of Cleveland Police said: "The attack took place in the middle of the road, but not one person stopped.
"There were at least five cars that passed her as she was lying on the road while the attack was taking place and we need those drivers to come forward."
He said police had checked CCTV footage from another part of the road and taken a statement from the victim to estimate how many cars had driven past.
Todd added: "This woman has been very brave. She basically fought for her life.
"He used his fists and repeatedly rained blows into her face, and, as a result, she is severely bruised. He has then ripped her clothing and sexually assaulted her.
"There are several lines of investigation being pursued, from forensic possibilities, CCTV inquiries, press appeals, and we are also waiting on other witnesses coming forward.
"We have already identified two witnesses who were in the area and we are speaking to them now.
"But we would like to speak to any drivers who were in the area at the time, particularly taxi drivers."
Todd said the woman was able to run for help after the attacker fled on his bike.
She was later taken to North Tees University Hospital, in Stockton, where she was treated for cuts and bruises to her face.
She is being cared for by relatives and a women's support network.
Police believe her attacker had intended to rape her and, but for her actions, would have succeeded. Ingrid Salomonsen, director and chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Women's Aid, said: "Believe it or not, this does happen.
"Even if a woman is being raped in the street, there are those who will think they don't want to get involved.
"They might be afraid of getting hurt or even interpret what is going on as someone having a laugh - it's all part of a denial process.
"What people don't realise is that they can stop their car, sound the horn, flash their headlights and then call the police.
"They don't even have to get out of their cars if they feel that would be putting themselves at risk."
It is the third sex attack in Stockton in as many weeks.
Police do not believe the incidents are connected but have urged women in the area not to use the streets alone at night.