A group of activists and volunteers from Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment are fighting back against a shocking wave of violent sexual assaults against women in Tahrir
Egyptian activists are rising up against sexual harassment and sexual assaults that have recently plagued Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Formed in November 2012, Operation Anti Sexual Harassment is one of those groups. They consist of scores of volunteers who give up their free time to fight against one of the ugliest issues to emerge in Tahrir Square recently - sexual assaults targeting women.
The group distributes fliers in the square with their hotline number, which women call if they get attacked. The call reaches a control room, then organisers phone 'intervention teams' on the ground who immediately rush to the victim. The group attempts to remove her from the crowd, take her to a safe place and provide her with medical and psychological assistance.
Tahrir - for over 2 years a symbol of Egypt's revolution - has suffered from fights, scuffles and clashes often attributed to the infiltration of counter revolutionary forces, and now violence against women seems to be the latest tool to undermine the demonstrations there.
On 25th January 2013, the two year anniversary of the revolution, Operation Anti Sexual Harassment dealt with 19 serious cases of sexual assault. Six women were taken to hospital due to their injuries.
Despite the horrific attacks, women are not staying away from the square. A week after the anniversary, women still made up a significant proportion of the Friday protests.
Engy Ghozlan, a long time women's rights activist and member of Operation Anti-Sexul Harassment says women will not be deterred. "This won't stop women from going or force them to stay at home, nothing will prevent us from going. The street belongs to us as it belongs to anyone. This is our country and we will not be silent against sexual harassment. Not the type that happens everyday nor that of Tahrir... In Egypt there is no revolution without the participation of women and their security"
For more information on Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment, visit their facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/opantish?ref=ts&fref=ts , or their twitter account: @OpAntiSH
Video by Simon Hanna