In February, the world held its breath when CBS’s “60 Minutes” reporter Lara Logan was badly beaten and sexually assaulted while covering the political uprising in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. After being rescued by civilians and a group of soldiers, Logan abruptly left her coverage and flew home to the U.S., where she was hospitalized for four days. Logan and CBS then released a statement.
Now, in an interview with The New York Times, Lara Logan has opened up publicly for the first time about the brutal assault.Logan was covering the festive mood in Tahrir Square with cameramen, her producer and bodyguard when someone in the crew overheard a man say he wanted to take off her parts. In an instant, Logan said, a mob of men descended upon them. “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me,” Logan said. As the mob tried to separate them, she desperately held onto her bodyguard’s hand (so much so that her hand was sore for days afterward).
But then Logan was separated from her bodyguard and her clothes were torn off. Although she won’t go into detail about what happened during the 40-minute assault, which she estimated involved 300 men, she did say “for an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands. … What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”
Lara Logan will speak about the assault on an episode of “60 Minutes” that will air on Sunday night. Afterwards, Logan told the Times that she won’t speak publicly about it again. But she hopes she will bring more attention to the sexual harassment and sexual assault faced by women journalists all over.
I have all the respect in the world for Lara Logan for using her platform to talk about sexual violence, especially since she noted in the Times interview that she is very aware many rape or sexual assault victims are encouraged to keep what happened to themselves. Only through addressing sexual violence head-on will we come into a better world where pain and abuse are not forced upon women, men and children as a show of power.