As protestors continue to flood the streets of Cairo and beyond, for and against the 'Tamarod' movement, sexual harassment has reared its ugly head once more. In many cases, the perpetrators plot and attack in groups. Those who adopt this kind of mob mentality alleviate themselves – on some level – of responsibility, as they see themselves as part of a whole and not an individual. Cairo – and specifically Tahrir Square – has witnessed mob mentality in the most awful and horrendous of ways.
While crowds all over Cairo on June 30th were more or less sincere in their sentiments, a much bigger problem is still bubbling beneath the surface – one that continues to be unaddressed in any serious way by authorities.
On that night alone, 46 cases of sexual harassment were reported; 30 of the victims were reached in time, and this is thanks to anti-harassment groups on the ground. These groups were initiated during the January 25th Revolution of 2011 for the same cause and continue to do their best in keeping Egypt's women safe and welcome in the country's political discourse.
During these times, there's an endless need for volunteers; but they're looking for more than just muscle to intervene where necessary. These valiant initiatives also need people to help spread awareness, collect supplies, coordinate and provide support for victims, amongst other things.
Get in touch with any of the following groups to see how you can help:
Operation Anti-Sexual Harrassment
The type of field hospitals seen scattered around during the more turbulent protests over the last two years have, thankfully, not been needed this time around, though Tahrir Doctors has sustained a presence in Tahrir Square this week and will always welcome aid in terms of equipment, supplies and man power. Elsewhere, Tahrir Supplies facilitates aid around Tahrir Square on Twitter, and relies on information from the public.
For more helpful contacts and resources, click here.
Stay safe, Cairo.