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Lara Logan breaks her silence on '60 Minutes': 'They raped me with their hands'

Logan Breaking a months-long silence, CBS war correspondent Lara Logan talked to "60 Minutes" on Sunday night about what really happened to her in Cairo's Tahrir Square. On the night of Feb. 11, as the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was falling, Logan joined the more than 100,000 people celebrating in the square, where she says a mob turned on her and sexually assaulted her.

"Suddenly, before I even know what's happening, I feel hands grabbing my breasts, grabbing my crotch, grabbing me from behind," she told Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes."

Things quickly spiraled out of control. "I think my shirt, my sweater was torn off completely," she said. "My shirt was around my neck. I felt the moment that my bra tore. ... And I felt them tear out, they literally just tore my pants to shreds. ... I didn't even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things, because I couldn't even feel that. Because I think of the sexual assault, was all I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again. ... They were tearing my body in every direction at this point, tearing my muscles. And they were trying to tear off chunks of my scalp, they had my head in different directions."

Logan said she was fighting for 25 minutes and didn't think she would live. "I was in no doubt in my mind that I was in the process of dying," she said. But thinking about her two children at home in Washington helped her focus on staying alive.

Eventually, she said, she was rescued by a woman dressed head to toe in black religious robes. "Just her eyes, I remember [I could see] just her eyes," Logan said. "She put her arms around me. And oh my God, I can't tell you what that moment was like for me. I wasn't safe yet, because the mob was still trying to get at me. But now it wasn't just about me anymore.

"It was about their women and that was what saved me, I think," she said. "The women kind of closed ranks around me."

Logan flew back to Washington, where she spent four days in a hospital as she was treated for cuts, bruises and internal tearing. She's been recovering at home with her husband and children. "I felt like I had been given a second chance that I didn't deserve," she said of her family. "I came so close to leaving them, to abandoning them."

Logan told "60 Minutes" that she was speaking out to help end the code of silence surrounding sex assaults on female journalists. You can watch a clip of the segment here.

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Lara Logan. Credit: Joe Corrigan / Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (33)

Here's lesson for all us.

Tyrants who seek freedom from even bigger tyrants.... are still tyrants.

Last night while listening to Lara I thought of women who have experienced the same crime right here in the USA. You do not have to leave home to find it. When a women screams for help no matter where they are thank God for someone being there to save them from the person or people attacking them. Crime happens everyday, hour, minute, second to some innocent person. Women must be aware of their surroundings in order to save themselves from crimes that could result in death. In Lara's case she was doing her job and showing her strengths reporting news from Egypt where we all wanted to know what was happening minute by minute. Journalists take a chance and pay a price for being in the midst of many storms. Thanks to Lara and others for their inner strength to do their jobs in places we would not venture.

Guardian Angels appear in many forms, including black religious robes.

I am appalled but not surprised by the "how could a journalist go into that situation" commentary. Typical of American rape culture. Blame the victim. Reinforce the idea that men will rape. Why is it that 50% of the human population should live in fear and shame? Should we simply accept it as norm that violence and sexual violence will occur because we are women? Should we "know better" and stay home popping out the spawn of the male gender? Good Gawd, what an ugly nation we are.

Lara Logan's ordeal was horrifying, but I wonder at both the naivete and arrogance of this reporter. Her cultural ignorance of the time and place signaled the events that followed. No women would have been in that crowd and to suddenly appear, blond headed and defiantly vain as a western female within a medieval mob of male misogynists only serves as the fuse to ignite the explosion that resulted.

Years ago, as a mature female wearing head covering and long sleeves, I was constantly insulted, grabbed, pinched and hooted at by both male youths and older men in Egypt. My husband and I were slighted on their national airline. Most native Egyptians are not familiar with western protocol.

As a correspondent, it is your role to know the territory and not act as a conquering reigning cheerleader to attract a media dazed and dulled American audience.

Lara,
Watched your story tonight (catching up on my taping). I am a nurse with 2 daughters close to your age. I knew you had been attacked and had worried and prayed for you. But I had no idea of the brutality. I was horrified for you and so happy that you made it our of there alive and are healing. As a mother, I am begging you to not put yourself in that dangerous of a position again. No one could ever replace you to your children.

Sincerely,
Debbie Hunt

OH MY GOSH! READING MORE COMMENTS, THE ONES CRITICIZING THE POOR GIRL. BUT I GUESS IT IS TRUE WHAT MY FRIENDS AND I SAY "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID".

SINCERELY ASHAMED OF SOME OF THE IDIOTS IN THIS WORLD,
DEBBIE HUNT

I am proud of Lara for being strong enough to come forward and tell her story knowing that there would be many men doing exactly what they do by placing blame on the woman. I remember right after her attack one journalist wrote an article asking if she was raped or just sexually assaulted. Men went nuts in the comments about how only a real rape is a violation and anything less is just fine. I am glad Lara stands up and shows that violation is violation. Period.

No one is saying that the rape was ok or defending the assaulters. I was brutually sexually assaulted by some one in a position of trust that unexpectedly abused that position and did what he did.

She was assaulted because she went into the middle of an enraged mob, in a country that is world famous for sexual assault, as in: it would be second on the list of countries to go too to get raped, right behind ghettos in south africa. As a foreign correspondent she should have known better.

Doesn't mean what happened was deserved and I hope she heals, especially emotionally, but stop being naive, there are cultures around the world that don't have the same values we have and they are fighting hard to not change. Don't be surprised when you dive with sharks and they bite.

This is arabian calture!

To any one that who thinks the arab woman doese a great job! Her job was very normal action from a woman. So it was nothing. Do you think she was a hero because she doesn't put her finger to reporters body? For sure she must rescue her and it's human nature not a very big job! Arab is arab and all of them are victims of islam.

The cultural relativism of our intellectual elites is destroying our country.
This horrible incident is just another gruesome proof of the barbaric nature of Muslim culture! Civilized human beings ahould be at war against islam!!!

Our media is corrupt. This story, and many others never talk about the real problem. They would have you believe this was a sexual assault. It wasn't, and they know this. Islam and sharia law is the real problem. They were screaming Jew, Jew, Jew during this assault. This is outrageous, this woman wasn't sexually assaulted, she was assaulted for being a woman, and thought to be a jew. Just like the story this week about the airline passenger who rushed the cockpit, the media didn't tell you he was yelling "allah akbar" while trying to break in the door. They intentionally edited this out. Corrupt media , corrupt government.

 
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