This is going to be a long one. Its been written over several days as i process the incident with the boat that has been mentioned previous
CW: Sexual Assault. Coersive behaviour
“I have no doubt that the shithead who assaulted me and tried to coerce me into sex has done that before. And likely raped several people. But if I have anything to do with it I will never be raped again, and although I can handle arseholes like him. And him setting the boat on fire was delicious karma 😁 I could not bear the thought of him being free to predate others, who might not be able to fend him off. And who would likely think they’re responsible for it, and who probably would not be belived.
So I got the police involved. Now, the UK police could stand to learn some from the Egyptian somewhat ironically. I’ve experienced far worse back home and it’s not been taken seriously. EVERY time has resulted in being told that they can’t do anything about it because *insert bullshit excuse here*
Well thus guy picked the wrong person (“rich white tourist”) things were fast tracked, was in court this morning and later found out that the person taking my final statement is a Colonel. ..! Apparently shit for brains is going to prison for 7 years. Which I feel a little but bad about, but then I remember what he did. And the feeling that he’s done this before and would again. So fuck him, or not as the case would be.”
The above is something I posted at the time, but I need to expand on the details. I’ve already discovered that full details are simply untenable, and people just aren’t interested in full detail. Even the legal system, no matter them asking for such.
A few days ago, after a tour in Luxor around Karnak and Luxor temples I went for a falucca ride as had been arranged with the hotel. Basically the captain insisted on a motor boat instead of a sail because there wasn’t enough wind. Which I was okay with until I saw 2 other sail boats out. He’d muttered something about needing another person to sail which later clicked as him manipulating things to make sure that he and I were alone out on the river nile.
Almost immediately after casting off he tried to put something over my head, I recoiled and went and sat down. During the 2 hour ordeal (I had booked for 1 hour) he repeatedly grabbed me, put that stupid ugly plastic necklace on me, put his arm(s) around me and rubbed and/or pulled in. Grabbed my hand and tried to link fingers. Slapped my bum with both hands, tried to touch my face. Put his face up to mine. Came up behind me put both arms army waist and pulled in. Took off my sunglasses, snatched things from my hands like a playground bully looking for attention.
There were parts where I could lose myself in the Nile, the birds and landscape, being on the water. Trying to make the most of what was likely my last chance to do a river sail. Something that wouldhave brought much pleasure and relaxation had it not been for Grabby McGrabby.
I was able to push him away and “handle” him but really I shouldn’t have to. My reactions were automatic, stay calm, don’t provoke and don’t fucking give in. Because never again will anybody coerce me into sex. I do not owe anybody anything. Being attractive to someone does not mean that they get to do with my body as they wish. Them doing some imaginary favour (or, their job that I’m paying them to do) Do not entitle them to demand ANYTHING from me beyond whatever business contract is being done.
So a shit for brains, entitled, misogynistic arsehole who deliberately isolates me, tries to get me to stay overnight, to go visit his village, to come back again for a “free” ride Who lies about doing me a favour when in fact he is literally thinking with his dick and trying to push me into sex is a piece of fucking scum.
Old me, or rather young me, would probably have succumbed because I had been taught that I was weak, I was worthless, I had no rights and I owed men my body. I have been raped in very similar circumstances and older more learned me will NEVER let that happen again.
My reaction included an emotional shut down to cope with what was happening. Since then the reconnect has triggered PTSD I feel sick and angry. I’m sat in a public hotel lobby crying, my skin is crawling and I want to scream. And run away. I want to hide but there’s no safe space for me here so I hide in public, where there are witnesses.
The hotel were i was staying *were * being helpful, of course they don’t want bad press. But they made me sign a release absolving them of responsibility, basically took advantage of me while I was tired and overwhelmed and not able to propaly consider what I was signing. The director is offering all the support but the delegated manager is refusing to give that help. So I’m fucking angry at him. But ill deal with that later, when I’ve had some time and got some advice.
But at the time they were great. At for end of the sail grabby McFucknuts demanded cash. It was to be paid via the hotel reception, and after tormenting me for 2 hours he then followed me all the way to reception demanding money and my room number. I got them to talk to him, he claimed I’d asked for 2hrs, I shut that down immediately. Eventually he went and I was free to make the complaint I had intended on. I turned back to reception staff they did the obligatory “did you enjoy your time? ” and I heard myself saying No. Saw their faces drop and my voice continued to say that he’d keep touching and grabbing me. They sprung into action. Within minutes I had 3 managers talking to me, 2 of them came out with me to identify him and security escorted him back through the hotel while the other 2 remained with me.
I thought about leaving it at that, him setting the boat on fire had been wonderful and at the time enough for me.
But the staff pushed for me to get the police involved, I thought about all the times that UK police have refused to act on far worse things and how I would be dealing with a foreign legal system in a country notorious for its misogyny. And how that would tie up my limited holiday time and how I just wanted to have a fucking relaxing holiday. And I thought, I’ll just leave it.
Though they assured me that the police if involved would actually take it seriously. And I thought about how I did not want him doing that to anyone else. And I thought about how he’s almost certainly assaulted and raped before, he was so confident with his moves there was no subtlety. Initially it did not set off warning alarms, I have already experienced an astronomical amount of entitled groping and non consensual touching here. Men feel fine literally grabbing tourists, particularly women and female presenting persons. This place is a cess pool of predators and sickening attitudes. That him taking my hand when I was getting on the boat was nothing different to anything else, especially compared to the streets of Cairo!
I’ve met very few genuinely kind and nice people since getting here. Most people are out to fleece tourists and/or predate women. My Luxor tour guide is one of those that stands out as a real nice genuine lovely person, I’ll get back to him later.
Once I decided that I could do something to get this creep away from others, and that he might actually face some sort of justice then I agreed to getting the police involved. Knowing that as soon as I said yes my time was no longer my own and I was subjecting myself to an unknown system in a language I don’t speak.
One lady, working at the desk I was sat by was really friendly and a welcome smiling face who kept me company and entertained. She’s another one of the good ones. The police arrived a lot sooner than expected. I gave a brief written statement which was translated by the hotel staff who had been with me since reporting. It took a while and I was tired and emotionally closed. It wasn’t until the end, an hour or two later, that I realised that grabby McFuckface was still there and had been held by security. He was brought into the lobby alcove where I’d been interviewed. I was released and told to go to my room and not leave until called for. So I spent about 3 hours tidying, sewing and doing other things to occupy my hands and mind. Not knowing if I could change for bed or anything. Having totally missed my chance to go relax in the spa as originally planned, not being able to relax but eventually drifting off from exhaustion. Having finally made the decision to prepare for bed I got a call saying that they didn’t need me again that night. But they did want me to go with them to the courthouse at 9am the next day. *Le sigh*
I informed my tour guide that I wouldn’t be able to make our second planned trip and could I reschedule. He phoned me to see if I was okay and offer to help. As I didn’t know what was going to happen I agreed to keep him updated and to try and get my travel agency to handle the driver hire etc (no response from them by the way) and exhausted I went to bed for another night of horrible disturbed sleep. Where the emotions began to reconnect, where my subconscious pulled and made connections with past experiences, where the dread of what I had agreed to began to sink in. I’d been told that Mr grabby was going to prison for 7 years……
Fuck. Wow. Ummmmmmm, okay. That’s more than I expected, I hadn’t know what to expect, but that… It shocked me. Especially when I think about all the abusive predators back home who walk freely after much more violent incidents. Apparently they really were taking it seriously. Even if they weren’t taking me terribly seriously but that’s another matter. Actually it’s not, it’s all the same thing but grabby was now on the wrong side of the law and subject to its penalties. The police were 100% focused on getting details that they could use to prosecute him, they barely acknowledged me, showed me zero compassion or care and had some laughs at my expense. Not a great feeling but it all being in Arabic meant that I could avoid opening my big feminist mouth. Which would have agravated my situation, as would pushing grabby out of the boat as I considered doing! I was and am pleased with myself for staying out of trouble despite my core beliefs being trampled on.
Exhausted and emotional the next morning was a scramble of trying to rearrange the tour, and my transfer time the following day so I could actually go on the tour, and my checkout time etc before going to the police.
Who treated me with less respect that the officers who’d come out the night before. I was asked to give my story again, in detail. Then got frustrated responses from them when I actually tried to give a full account. Turns out that nobody was interested in the full story, just the juicy bits. The language barrier was obviously an issue, And I know things were getting confused in the translation, adding get to their frustration. No body introduced themselves to me, they barely even looked in my direction until they wanted me to speak. A long time sat in a grotty large office room with a self important man in a suit sat behind a desk and a succession of other men coming and going, occasionally sitting at the desk too. I was sat on a sofa placed lengthways against the wall, with the two hotel staff on the same side and some bloke opposite. I was asked to give a full account but pushed to rush through it. And the staff were giving their version. Them translating for me too. We were there for ages and I got so tired. People coming and going, scared they would bring in Mr grabby and somewhat frustrated that I could not give a proper acount of what happened.
By the way, smoking is a national pass time in Egypt though either women are expected not to do so or there was some protocol about not offering cigarettes to claimants. Not that I wanted a ciggy really but seriously they were arguing over giving each other fags and never once offered one to me. Rude. There’s also ZERO victim care, beyond offering tea or coffee during the many drinks rounds I was offered nothing in terms of support, care, assistance etc. The hotel staff were the only ones giving any kind of support. I was just a thing , sat there to give information they needed to prosecute that man. Which brings me on to the next bit, and a new room.
Another long grotty room with well worn but still comfortable furniture. A long desk on one side next to it an armchair then a desk placed across the room. Beside that another desk then coming around to opposite the first desk. Along the wall more sofas, where we were led to, I was told that this man was going to take details about the incident. At the main desk was another suited contemptuous dude, with him his casually dressed sidekick who was doing lots of writing. Again I was told to give full detail only to find out that they didn’t really want it. The lady from the hotel gave her account signed the statement and left. Leaving me with a room full of Egyptian men. After a while someone turned up and introduced them self as my translator. At some point the main police officer from the night before arrived and sat in the armchair opposite. And a boy in a suit who looked about 15 came to occupy the farther desk, presumably to pretend to work on unrelated stuff.
I continued with my telling, the translator struggling with some things and the remaining hotel employee jumping in to help him. All the time people are coming and going and cigarettes being passed around. When the translator was obviously repeated back what suit-face was saying it clicked that he was giving an oath.
Then I was asked to swear to god that I was telling the truth. Turns out there is no non religious version of the oath in Egypt. I offered to swear to Maat, that went over the translators head. I ended up just saying I swear I’m telling the truth. Mr suit-face was obviously frustrated at me, I was apparently taking too long. He had somewhere to be or something, I don’t fucking know it seemed only the two spoke any English and my Arabic terrible. But he was expressing lots of frustration at me. And clearly having laughs at my expense. Then suddenly he got really flustered got up and grabbed his suit jacket back on and was shouting about something to another random person.
The translator asked me if I had someone in the city to help guide me. I said no, of course. Again no idea what was going on, it looked like suit-face was about to leave, in a huff.
Then. then in walks my tour guide. He had tracked us down and come to help. OMG I was so pleased to see him. And so very grateful that he volunteered to help. He’d offered to help but all I could think of was as a character witness, which also doesn’t seem to be a thing here. He obviously has a better knowledge of the system and knew that I’d need help, and turned up. Saying that he couldn’t leave me. He stepped in to do most of the translation, and seemed disturbed by what he was translating. But he had come to help because he liked me and thought I’m a nice person and I needed help. And he came and helped because he’s a nice person.
Anyway, after lots of confusion and going back and forth, and some specific questions, and him not accepting my statement and arguing over specifics. Apparently accuracy is not important, more binary answers were expected. But eventually we got to the bit where I signed the statement. Which of course I had no idea what it said. The men all shook hands and said good byes, I was ignored by all except the policeman who nodded at me.
We were rushed out and in the confusion got separated from my tour guide. We also got stopped by a group who were being very insistent about something, the hotel guy shut that down, grabbed my arm (nicely) and he and the translator flanked me and led me downstairs and out. Saying on the way that Mr grabby wanted to meet me and make some sort of reconciliation. The thought of that made me shiver and I doubled down on the getting the fuck out of there.
It wasn’t until back at the hotel that I finally found out that suit-face is a Colonel….! That explained a lot. And they weren’t exaggerating when they’d said this was being taken very seriously. Slowly over the whole thing I put the clues together. The day after the incident with the boat, I was at court giving my testimony against my attempted rapist. The next fucking day. Court. This was not a police statement as I had believed, this was a fucking court case. And Mr grabby was going down for 7 years. Less than 24hrs later.
The contrast is staggering. Back home victim support is generally good and they say all the right things then fuck off and do nothing. Here, I was a piece of meat with a story to tell and they acted on it, immediately!
And OMG was I tired.
But as soon as I could I was in the gym, sadly no punching bag but at least there were weights and a spectacular view of the nile. Even if I was overlooking the area that Mr grabby had taken me. And had to walk past his colleagues to get there. Though that actual helped to not let me create a fear wall as I had to face it. Not that they even glanced in my direction that I could tell.
The hotel offered me a free meal and gave me a fruit basket, but also took advantage of my tired state and got me to sign that release. The GM came down to talk to me and offer whatever help they could. Turns out that the manager who was delegated to help me doesn’t actually want to help me and has since told me to essentially go sort stuff myself. The same one that was so eager for me to sign that form. I feel a letter coming on regarding that.
It’s been a few days now, I’m less anxious about his family tracking me down here. But still angry. I do not like the resort I’m at now but it does have a punching bag which I went to town on this morning! Fuck that was needed. I finally got some sleep for the first time since I got here, again very needed. And 2 days doing gym stuff, and having a swim in the red sea and doing some reading, all of which are what I came here for. I’m still not “right” still dealing with ptsd and anxiety and am not able to relax in this circus of a resort. But I am feeling better, and starting to process what happened.
I think I am actually going to pray, to Maat. I’m so tired I can’t think clearly. I am going to ask her for guidance.
I need to feel okay with him paying for his crime. It’s silly, and a hangover from the internalised misogyny and rape culture.
I am asking myself, am I letting him pay for what others did to me? Others who got away with it. I was happy at the Karma of him setting the boat on fire. And maybe that would have been enough, but then maybe once it all sunk it I might have regretted not taking it further.
Being excluded from what was happening legally meant that my decision was not an informed one. FFS, I didn’t even know that I was in an actual court hearing until I figured out that my translator was repeating back whatever the man in the suit behind the desk was saying. I thought, oh shit, that’s an oath. I kinda made my oath to Maat though they didn’t get it.
I didn’t know what the fuck was happening, I didn’t know that I was “giving evidence” to a big wig Colonel. And I’m glad of that as otherwise I may have been intimidated and not treated him with the mild contempt that he clearly deserved!
With people, all men thus far, commenting on what I “should ” have done compounding my own internalised fears and doubts about what I did wrong. Which by the way was NOTHING. Yes there are things I could have done differently, some of which would have landed me in a whole heap of trouble with the law, had I say… pushed him off the boat. Which I did consider. But no I did nothing wrong, and his relatives turning up at the hotel wanting me to sign something to get him released and free it putting horrendous pressure on me to relent. Thankfully I was out. But I’m afraid they will track me down. That fear is very slowly easing, but im jumpy and anxious.
Still not sleeping. Though i am creating a routine, reading, swimming, gym, lunch. Then stuff.