6 Out Of 10 Women In Lebanon Don’t Report Sexual Assault Because Of Family Honor, A New Study Reveals

AP/ Bilal Hussein

The independent civil association ABAAD published a study on Friday, revealing shocking numbers regarding sexual violence against women in Lebanon, surveying 1200 Lebanese women, 400 Syrian women, and 200 Palestinian women.

The study published stated that 6 out of 10 women who were subjected to sexual assault did not report the crime because of “family honor,” while 3 out of 10 women whose daughters have been sexually assaulted did not report it because no one would believe them.

It showed that 74% of women considered sexual assault primarily a physical and psychological assault, while 71% confirmed that society sees it primarily as an assault on family honor.

The study comes as part of a national campaign launched by the organization, which begins today, November 25th, under the title and hashtag #NoShameNoBlame (#لا_عرض_ولا_عار), on the occasion of the 16 International Days of Activism campaign to end Violence Against Women and Girls.

Ghida Anani, director of Abaad, regretted, in a statement, the persistence of associating sexual assault crimes in Lebanon with dignity, honor, and shame.

The results also showed that 84% of surveyed women who were not been subject to sexual assault declared that they would report it if they were exposed to it.

In the newly-published study, ABAAD also reported a series of shocking testimonies from the survivors.

“My abuser had been blackmailing me on digital platforms before he sexually assaulted me. I reported him, but unfortunately, it did not lead anywhere because he is well-connected, and he also threatened my husband,” a survivor of sexual assault said.

“I was raped and discovered I was pregnant five months after the crime. My family forbids me to report the perpetrator because they feared what people would say, and my brother threatened to kill me,” another one added.

Anani stated that sexual assault offenses are increasing in Lebanon, however, the penalties are still reduced.

The organization added that it previously worked on abolishing Article 522 of the Lebanese Penal Code and has demanded serious sentences for sexual assault crimes.

Related: UN Lebanon Launched A 16-Day Awareness Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence.

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