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Egypt: A call for support from HarrassMap

Thursday 11 July 2013, by siawi3

July 10
Dear friends,

Please see below a message from HarassMap, a Cairo-based volunteer-based initiative with a mission to end the social acceptability of sexual harassment in Egypt. Please help us support this great initiative! There are only 5 days left!

Over the past week we’ve had 186 cases of horrific mob sexual assault/rape in the middle of demonstrations in tahrir. These assaults are extremely violent and include several rapes and rape with sharp weapons. They happen in full view of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators. And not only do very few witnesses try to help, but many more witnesses join in the assault. Since the 29th, the HarassMap team has been completely focused on helping to perform rescues of women being sexually assaulted by mobs in the demonstrations.

Especially because of the unprecedented increase in the number and severity of these attacks, I would like to ask for your assistance in circulating (and of course contributing if you have the means) to HarassMap’s crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a mass media campaign to stop sexual harassment and assault in Egypt: http://igg.me/p/358999/x/2698718.

It is documented that some thugs are paid to instigate these mob sexual assaults, but who is paying them is not documented. Whoever is at fault for paying thugs, no political actors have made a serious effort to punish or prevent this crime. And worse, according to the volunteers who are in the intervention teams, out of the 50-100 attackers in each mob attack, only maybe 5 of them are paid and the rest are opportunistic bystanders from the crowd who - instead of helping the victim - are joining in assaulting her.

This is why HarassMap believes that the most effective way to stop the mob assaults in the long term, is to convince bystanders and all of society to stop accepting this, to stop staying silent or joining in, and rather to intervene to stop it. Sexual assault/harassment is so widely accepted at this point that initiatives like us and OpAntiSH have to actually recruit and train volunteers to intervene because normal bystanders don’t.

This media campaign will address the mass public and aim to motivate everyone to stop accepting this horrifying trend and stand up to harassment. We would be so grateful if you would please consider a contribution, and circulate the link for us: http://igg.me/p/358999/x/2698718. There are only 5 days left in our campaign. We will put any level of donation to very good use!