We have been here before.
A female journalist sexually brutalized while simply trying to do her job.
A year and a half ago it was CBS correspondent Lara Logan, attacked by a mob in Egypt while reporting on the uprising there.
Last year journalist Mona Eltahawy described a 12 hour ordeal she says she endured while in the interior ministry in Cairo, in which her wrists were broken and she was groped repeatedly and violated.
Now, British student journalist Natasha Smith tells of being stripped naked by a crowd who turned on her in a matter of seconds. She was in Egypt working on a short documentary about women’s rights and abuses against women in Egypt. Dangerous and import work.
In her blog entry titled, “Please God, Make it Stop,” she writes:
Hundreds of men pulled my limbs apart and threw me around. They were scratching and clenching my breasts and forcing their fingers inside me in every possible way. So many men. All I could see was leering faces, more and more faces sneering and jeering as I was tossed around like fresh meat among starving lions.
Despite the hell on earth she survived, Smith goes on to say she is more focused than ever on why she is a journalist reporting on these exact issues of violence against women:
I have to find a silver lining to this experience. I have to spread awareness; it is my duty to do so. I have to do this; I will not be driven into submission. I will overcome this and come back stronger and wiser. My documentary will be fuelled by my passion to help make people aware of just how serious this issue is, and that it’s not just a passing news story that briefly gets people’s attention then is forgotten. This is a consistent trend and it has to stop. Arab women, western women – there are so many sufferers.
CNN’s Dan Rivers filed this report:
Sexualized violence against female journalists in not often documented, but is more common than most realize. Here is a special report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.