On Friday, a French television reporter was at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, when a group of men attacked her.
“Sonia Dridi, a correspondent for France 24, said a mob of mostly young men surrounded her on Friday while she was on the air and then began to grope her. The attack lasted several minutes before a male colleague managed to pull her out.
“I was groped everywhere. I realised (later), when someone closed my shirt, that it was opened, but not torn off,” she said.
“I avoided the worst because I have a good belt” and a friend helped her out, said the reporter, who eventually found refuge in a fast food restaurant.”
“More frightened than hurt,” wrote Dridi in French on her Twitter page on Saturday.
Referring in English to a colleague, she tweeted: “Thanks to @ashrafkhalil for protecting me in #Tahrir last nite. Mob was pretty intense. thanks to him I escaped from the unleashed hands.”
Later she wrote: “Thks everyone for support, shocking but I’m OK. Could have been [worse]. Crowd out of control, guys took advantage of it but kept my clothes on.
I am so sorry to hear about this and I hope she will be okay.
Sadly, this type of attack is “normal” in the area. Since the Revolution of 2011, women like journalists Lara Logan, Mona Eltahawy, Natasha Smith, and Caroline Sinz, Egyptian actor Sherihan and the “woman in the blue bra” have all survived horrific mass sexual assaults on the streets of Cairo. Such attacks are cowardly, scary, and unacceptable.
Many Egyptians will not stand for this behavior in their country. Protests and creative efforts to draw attention to the issue to stop it happen nearly weekly. Just this week, there were theater/video experiments on the streets led by the BuSSY Project and the National Council for Women announced it will launch a campaign that includes videotaping attackers and broadcasting the images.
Street harassment, sexual assaults, gropings, women-hating must stop!
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