I work in a very well-known NGO in Lebanon, Beirut and we have “partners” from different nationalities working with us on a daily basis. On a Monday morning, I was working on a project with my co-worker and my boss was around. A French intern passed by and she had her hair done and makeup on (usually she comes to work with a bun and no makeup). My boss looked at me and my friend and said: “They come to Lebanon, wear revealing clothes and makeup and blame the taxi driver if he sexually assaulted/raped them.” P.S. An incident happened a few years ago in Lebanon where the Uber driver raped and killed a British girl on her way back to her appt. after a night out. I will always be angry at myself that I did not react the way I was supposed to.
In middle eastern society, family is everything. They’ll back each other up no matter what. At 8 years old, my parents got divorced. Thats fine, the separation of my parents did not affect me. My father moved out of the house to his sisters house until he got a place to stay. Few weeks later, court decided that my father should have custody. He was still living in my aunts house. I lived there for a whole year. during that year, my cousin, who is eight years older than me, molested me every day. As an eight year old, i did not know what he was doing exactly, all i knew was that i hated it. And the talk that my mother gave me always emphasized strangers. Never did she tell me family could be as cruel and disgusting. I could not speak about it He was 16, i was 8. I am nineteen today and it still haunts me. I did not tell anyone. I wish i did back then because almost three years ago, the same thing happened to my 12 year old nephew with the same guy. Maybe if i said something back then it wouldn’t have happened. My nephew told his father and brothers, they threatened to take him to court but they did not because he was “family”. I still see him today, he has this sadistic smile on his face every time i see him. He knows what he did and he knows i know too. I cant even look him in the eye.
During a visit to our house in Turkey, my father forgot to lock the doors. We’d always thought of it as a nice place, everyone was friendly and so if there was the occasional slip of mind, none of us thought much of it. We’d had a busy day and I was exhausted. I fell into bed at about 11:00 pm Turkish time (9:00pm uk) and was almost immediately asleep. I woke up four hours later to my mother screaming hysterically, just my name over and over. I sat up, in time to see my bedroom door open, my wardrobe opened (though nothing touched) and all my drawers. Right beside my bed, so close there was hardly an inch gap between the mattress and the nightstand, my underwear drawer had been rummaged through. My purse was left, beside my lamp, untouched. My parents had woken up about half an hour earlier when their bedroom door was opened. The door in the apartments made a lot of noise when opened, and my parents are both light sleepers. They then heard the bathroom door open and close, and so assumed it was just me making a half-asleep mistake. Just in case, my mum got up and looked around the apartment, to see if anything was wrong and there was no problem so she went back to sleep. Later, the bathroom door was opened again, and the door to my room was opened, but not shut. My father couldn’t get back to sleep, so he got up and put clothes on, to go sit on the veranda. He comes out of his room and sees a man stood over me, as I sleep, going through my underwear. He shouts at the man, wakes my mother, and she starts to scream. The man runs from my room, I’m still asleep, and my dad follows, getting to the door before him. The man then yells, “I have had sex with your daughter!” Most likely knowing that it would cause my father to move out of the way, and wake by this point I start to shake. I was asleep only in underwear and a tshirt, the former of which had been removed from my body, and the man had held up to show my father. My mother starts to cry. Four pairs of my underwear had been removed from my drawer, and he took them with him when he ran. I can’t get over the fact that he would have been right next to me, and had even gotten to the point of undressing me in my sleep. As a usually very light sleeper, this chills me to the bone. I am fifteen years old. This is not ok.