Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News, was sexually assaulted in Cairo after the news of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's resignation broke last February and now, for the first time, she is speaking out.
Logan was in Tahrir Square preparing a report for 60 Minutes on Feb. 11 after the news about Mubarak broke. She was ripped away from her producer and bodyguard by a group of men who tore at her clothes and groped and beat her body. This week she gave an interview to the New York Times and Sunday night, she will tell 60 Minutes her story.
She told the Times: "For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands,” She estimated that the attack involved 200 to 300 men, lasted a half hour and only became more vicious the more she suffered. It is brutal, brutal information and she is a hero for being brave enough to speak out.
Logan said that during the attack, she thought she would die, but afterwards she knew she would speak out and be a voice for all those women who have suffered sexual assault in silence.
Logan is far from the first journalist (or first woman) to suffer a sexual assault while on duty, but there has been almost a code of silence around such attacks, according to Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of 60 Minutes, who added: " I think is in Lara’s interest and in our interest to break."
Indeed it is. Because women suffer these kinds of indignities everyday in our world and for many, the humiliation is theirs' to bear. There is nothing humiliating about being attacked by these inhuman monsters and by staying silent, we let them win. Logan says she does not want to be known only for this assault and that she wants to give women victims a voice. She said:
I would have paid more attention to it (the way women are treated in Egypt) if I had had any sense of it. When women are harassed and subjected to this in society, they're denied an equal place in that society. Public spaces don't belong to them. Men control it. It reaffirms the oppressive role of men in the society.
Logan says her last interview will be this Sunday, but her courage will not be forgotten by the women who have suffered in silence. The fact is, Logan will likely get flak for her decision to come forward. Her critics may accuse her of trying to capitalize on her attack, but they will be wrong.
Logan has never been one to shy away from a fight. She has been on the front lines, putting her money where her mouth is every day. She is not afraid to speak up and get in the middle of situations that would terrify others. Her strength is beacon and I am sure that it will help others who may not be as readily brave to come forward as well.
And because of that, she is as much a hero as a person who runs into a burning building to save a life. She is not afraid of her critics and she won't be silenced by them. She does not want to be "that hot reporter who got raped in Egypt." She is strong and she is fierce and all women ought to be grateful that there are women like her out there fighting for all of us.
Do you think this is heroic?
Image via CBS