A video of a Lebanese-Australian woman speaking out about how she was molested by her own grandfather as a child is sparking outrage on social media in Lebanon.
Aired on OTV's live TV show 'Agenda', the video shows an unidentified woman telling her story and speaking out against child molestation and sexual abuse against children.
"I lived in Lebanon as a child before my family moved to Australia. When I was 8-years-old, I was raped by my own grandfather. He'd usually take me to a garden in the backyard of our house when my parents weren't home and that's where he'd sexually abuse me," she said.
"The first few times he did it, I didn't really understand what was going on, but he was touching me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. Eventually, he started raping me. After every abuse incident, he'd lock me up in a cage located in the garden, until I stopped crying. He would also always threaten me that he'd murder my father if I ever told anyone about it," she added.
"I was raped by my own grandfather."
After she shared the horrific details of the abuse she faced as a child at the hands of her grandfather, the woman then explained that she came back to Lebanon earlier last month in order to confront him.
"He confessed and I have his words recorded, I am taking the recording back with me to Australia, where I'll share it with my mother and family. I also wanted to take action against him, but both my uncle and aunt threatened that if I do, they'd complain to police. I don't know what I did, I am the one who was raped and abused, why am I the one who they want to hand over to police?" she asked.
The video sparked outrage on social media
Soon after OTV shared the video on Facebook, thousands of people reacted to it with anger, hailing the victim for courageously speaking up.
There were also those who tried to shame the victim, blaming her for not speaking up sooner, but they were rightfully shut down.
Many criticized those who were blaming the victim
"Some of these comments blaming the victim or questioning her story are disgusting."
People hailed her for her courage
"I hope all girls learn from you. Any female who's abused in such a manner must speak out against the victim and file a complaint against them."
Stop covering abuse up, stop giving abusers excuses
Sexual abuse against children is a major issue in Lebanon
Cases are often underreported, especially when victims are too scared or ashamed to speak up about their horrific experiences.
This is especially true when an abuser is a relative, a close family friend, or someone who is generally known to the child victim.
Having noted that, the number of recorded cases in Lebanon is significant and alarming.
For example, in the short period of time between January 1 and June 30 2007, "33 cases of child sexual abuse or rape were investigated in Lebanon," according to the records of the country's Ministry of Justice.
The fight for abused victims' rights in Lebanon
Earlier this year Lebanon repealed Article 522, which had allowed rapists to avoid punishment if they married their victims.
The article doesn't only cover cases of rape though.
It also applies to cases of sex with a minor, molestation of children, sexual harassment of children, exploitation of someone in a less powerful position and kidnapping of women or girls.
Although the decision was hailed as a victory at the time, some said the article was only "partially abolished".
Lebanese NGO KAFA, described the development as a "partial victory", explaining that the article's effect continues under Article 505 "which involves sex with a minor who is 15 years of age, as it does through article 518, which concerns the seduction of a minor with the promise of marriage".