M’sian Hijabis Share Heartbreaking Stories Of Sexual Assault & Harassment

Only a handful of sexual harassment cases are reported, compared to the number of times it actually happened. It’s no wonder why.

When it comes to sexual assault, the victim always takes the blame, no matter what. When women are sexually harassed or assaulted, the first thing we’re usually asked is “What were you wearing?” and perhaps “Did you behave suggestively?

The truth is, the way you’re dressed doesn’t prevent sexual harassment. Women on Twitter are speaking up about when they were sexually harassed and assaulted while wearing the the hijab, and the most heartbreaking part is some of this incidents happened whilst they were in school uniform. That means our children aren’t safe from predators, even if they’re covered up. Twitter user @nowmytaleistold started the conversation and then the floodgates opened.

In quoted tweets and replies, women of all ages began sharing their horror stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault even whilst they were wearing the hijab.

There are countless more heartbreaking stories in the Twitter thread. One thing is for sure, the hijab cannot and will not protect a women from sexual assault. More often than not, the perpetrator is a man.

Just last week in Bangladesh, a 19-year-old student was burned to death for filing a sexual harassment report against her headmaster. She was wearing the hijab. These were her last words:

“The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath.” – Nusrat Jahan Rafi.

On a positive note, some women in the thread have recounted that they received support to lodge a police report against the men who harassed them.

We managed to get in touch with Ethan (a.k.a. @nowmytaleistold) for a quick update. It started as a mere question. The many replies and recounts of women’s experiences were unexpected, and eye-opening.

“As men, we can barely grasp what women are going through every day,” he said. “I read a few replies saying they’re so traumatized, and re-living the trauma just by typing out their Tweets.”

We need to listen to women when they tell their stories – Ethan Matisa.

“We need to listen to women when they tell their stories. Just because it didn’t happen to you or anyone you know, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Put yourself in the victim’s shoes before you start saying they ‘could have done something’ to prevent it.”

He added, “There’s a “men are trash” statement that’s been making it’s rounds online. If you want to prove that we’re not trash, it starts with you.”

A note to all men; if you’ve never harassed or assaulted women, you are not a superhero okay? You’re doing the bare minimum by being normal. It’s time for you to step up and call out other men who harass and assault women, even if the woman isn’t your daughter, sister or mom.

If you’ve ever been sexually harassed, please remember that you are not alone in this. Thank you for sharing your stories, brave ladies. We’re still far from becoming a society that doesn’t blame the victim, but perhaps, we’re working towards it.

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