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A Study on Incidents of Sexual Assault in Egypt (An Unending Story)

During the last period, Egyptian society has witnessed a state of controversy and societal dialogue regarding incidents of sexual assaults against women and girls of different ages and social classes.

This coincided with the start of many victims and survivors of these attacks to talk about the violations and sexual assaults they were subjected to. The electronic accounts and blogs that were created recently with the aim of publishing these facts constituted a safe haven for many victims and survivors of sexual assaults to share their testimonies about the violations they experienced, as these accounts are published without disclosing the identity of the victims or survivors.

These electronic accounts and blogs have also managed to attract many supporters and defenders of these victims or survivors, who are demanding the maximum punishment for the perpetrators themselves.

The incidents of sexual assault that accused American University student Ahmed Bassam Zaki – whose details were leaked through an anonymous account on Instagram called Assault Police – is the detonator of the anger movement that is currently taking place on social media, where this electronic account started Anonymous collected testimonies and footage from the conversations that took place between this young man and some of the victims or survivors who were subjected to harassment, extortion and sexual assault at his hands. This online account encouraged many victims or survivors of similar sexual assaults to share their stories and testimonies as well.

This online movement has contributed to calls from the National Council for Women and the Egyptian Public Prosecution for victims or survivors of sexual assaults to submit official reports to the Public Prosecution.

In an important step to protect these victims or survivors, and to encourage them to report the attacks they were subjected to without disclosing their identity, the Egyptian government proposed a draft law to guarantee the confidentiality of the statements of victims and witnesses in these cases, and the Egyptian parliament ratified this law in July 2020.

During this period, the same previous online account began receiving information about the alleged rapists in the case known in the media as the “Fairmont Hotel Case”, which dates back to 2014, when a group of young men took turns gang-raping a girl in the Fairmont Hotel in Cairo.

In view of the many incidents of sexual assault that have spread on electronic accounts during the past few years, it is clear that most of them occurred several years ago, but they were not disclosed or talked about at the time of their occurrence. Perhaps this is due in large part to the societal culture that always criminalizes the victims and blames them. It is also due to the fear of many victims or survivors of such attacks to file official complaints against the perpetrators for fear of legal accountability or revealing their identity.

Therefore, the electronic accounts constituted a means for these victims or survivors to express their feelings and feelings about the violations they were subjected to.

In light of the above, Tadwein for Gender Studies, in cooperation with the Love Matters Arabic Project, sought to collect, document and analyze the majority of the testimonies of victims or survivors that spread through accounts and electronic platforms during the last period.

You can check the study:

Sexual Assault Incidents in Egypt; A Never-Ending Story Study

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