CBS 60-Minutes Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Lara Logan was savaged assaulted in Cairo the night of February 11, 2011, the very day Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak’s regime ended. Lara was reporting on events that night as over 100,000 people participated in a mob-like celebration in Tahrir Square. Lara candidly shared her story of survival on 60-Minutes and offered a first-hand account of the terror she experienced as a victim of sexual assault, at many points believing she was about to die.
Sexual assault happens throughout the world. In fact, 1 in 3 women worldwide become victims of sexual assault at some point in their lives. The situation is particularly rampant in Egypt. In fact, a study by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women reported that an unfathomable number of Egyptian women, 99.3%, have experienced some form of sexual harassment. Another 96.5% have been subject to harassment in the form of touching.
Sexual assault survivor Yasmine el-Baramawy was attacked in Tahrir Square in November 2012 and describes the pattern: men surround a woman, rip off her clothes and then perform manual rape, all while an outer circle fends off anyone who might try to help the victim with sticks, blades and belts. Countless women and girls in Egypt have fallen prey to these mobs.
“They were taking photos of me and laughing,” Baramawy told Aljazzera. “They pinned me naked to the hood of a car and drove me around.”
The devastating impact of rape and sexual assault on its victims knows no nationality, age or gender. Be it a child who is sexually abused by a family member or a woman who is assaulted by a gang of thugs, all victims understand the fear and terror experienced during these assaults. Here in the United States, there are numerous national and local organizations and counselors who specialize in helping rape victims find the inner strength to overcome their traumatic experiences. One such organization is RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN operates a National Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE. When calls arrive to the hotline, RAINN’s system sorts them by area code and first three digits of the phone numbers, instantaneously connecting them to the nearest RAINN member center. Phone numbers are not retained and all calls are anonymous and confidential unless a caller chooses to share personally-identifying information.
Thank you, Lara Logan, for sharing your story with the world. By exposing incidents of rape and sexual assault as the violent crime against humanity that it is, I believe we can and will raise awareness and help protect other potential victims.
Raising awareness of the world-wide epidemic of child abuse has become Ginger’s life mission. An impassioned child advocate, trainer, speaker and child forensic interviewer, Ginger can be contacted via her website, “Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids” at gingerkadlec.com or find her on Facebook at facebook.com/gingergkadlec.
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