5 Myths About Harassment – Debunked

By: Mostafa El Said

One – Myth: Most rapes/sexual assaults occur between strangers.

Fact: 70% of rapes have been committed by someone known to the victim. 25% are committed by a partner (only 52 countries explicitly criminalise marital rape). 1 in 10 women have experienced rape by an intimate partner in a lifetime.


Two – Myth: Sexual assault and abuse can only happen to women.

Fact: Many men who are abused in relationships do not know so. Abuse includes physically: slapping, hitting or throwing things at the victim, emotionally: belittling remarks, threatening to harm you or anyone else, and social isolation: being unreasonably restricted from your family or friends.

There is a huge lacking when it comes to research on such a situation, and a great deal of embarrassment or comedy when reporting such a thing, which results in a lot of men being abused and slowly destroyed without seeking help.


Three – Myth: Men are the main breadwinners, and women who work only do so to earn extra cash. (not really related to theme)

Fact: Women are the main breadwinners in 14% of Egyptian families (CAPMAS although the number may be much larger due to lack of research). In fact, the ‘shaghalat’ and nannies you have at home and the school matrons all work because of economic necessity. Their families actually depend on their income more than they do on the men.

“Earlier this month Niven AlKabbag, Assistant to the Minister of Social Solidarity, revealed that female-headed households in Egypt reached 25 percent. She said that at least 3.3 percent of women are business owners compared to 9.1 percent of men and 49.5 percent of women are being deprived from education, training and employment.”



Four – Myth: Wearing provocative clothing or drinking a lot affects how likely a woman will be assaulted.

Fact: Most rapes are pre-planned before confrontation with the victim (most rapes are committed by a perpetrator known to the victim). The perpetrator selects the victim, not the other way around. Behaviour/clothing does not equal consent.

Also, a lot of rape victims are children. Were they dressed inappropriately?

Five – Prostitutes cannot be raped, because they sell their bodies.

Fact: Prostitutes have a mouth from which they can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. They have the right to consent or to refuse any sexual activity; therefore, they are not immune to rape.

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