A video of a Filipino domestic worker being sexually harassed by a man sparked outrage on Saudi Twitter late on Wednesday.
The footage was later taken down but went viral after it was uploaded to Twitter by social media users.
In the video, the abusive man is seen trying to rape the victim, as she tries to push him away. She later threatens him with a knife, forcing him to leave the room.
After the incident, Lili, the victim, posted two live stream Facebook videos, which are now still on her page.
In both streams, the woman is seen pleading for help, asking that she be allowed to travel back home to the Philippines as both a man and a woman, who appear to be her employers, are heard talking to her from behind the door.
While the nationality of the attacker remains unclear with some on social media claiming he's Egyptian, Lili's Facebook page lists her as living in Riyadh.
*The video of the assault is available online but we choose not to share it in line with our ethical standards.
A horrific case of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse
In the live streams she shared on Facebook, the domestic worker is seen crying and accusing her employers of mistreating her.
In one of them, she is heard telling her male employer she wants to go home, saying "Madam hurting me always."
A woman, who appears to be her female employer, is then heard knocking on the door telling the domestic worker to open, asking her about the sexual harassment video she had shared and accusing her of lying about the incident.
Outrage on social media
A few tried to play into the victim-blaming narrative...
"This video is fabricated and its purpose is to distract public opinion and demean a Saudi man."
But no one was having it
"There is absolutely no excuse for sexual harassment other than the fact that the person committing it is filthy and sick. Anyone who tries to justify these actions complies with those who commit them."
"You always blame a woman, her clothes, the way she walks or talks, who are you going to throw the blame on this time?"
"We, the public, are the only thing left for this domestic worker, we need to help her escape her sponsor's hell!! She risked everything and filmed the attack so that no one would accuse her of lying."
"She endured the assault in silence so that she could document it and stop it from happening again"
"I hope that he is held accountable so that her suffering doesn't go in vain."
"The domestic worker was wearing a hijab and we can hear religious sermons playing in the background"
"And even with that... he still assaulted her! The only thing that will stop these criminals is a sexual harassment law."
The plea for help is now trending...
And the real questions is...
"The question is: how do we protect domestic workers when they're mostly cut off from the outside world and no one visits or checks up on them in their workplace?"
Because this isn't an isolated case
"Three months ago, a domestic worker confided in me that her relative was gang-raped in her sponsor's home in Saudi. She was immediately sent back home so that no one would know about it. When she arrived in her home country, she had to be hospitalized."
Saudi Arabia set to criminalize sexual harassment
Earlier this year, King Salman issued a royal decree calling upon the kingdom's interior minister to draft a law that criminalizes sexual harassment and enforces penalties on perpetrators.
A copy of the decree, which circulated online at the time, read:
"Considering the dangers sexual harassment poses and its negative impact on the individual, the family and society, along with its contradiction of Islamic principles, our customs and traditions [...], the ministry shall prepare a draft law to tackle sexual harassment."
The decree also went on to note the "importance of passing a law that criminalizes it [sexual harassment] and outlines the necessary penalties that categorically prohibit such acts and deter anyone who feels tempted to commit them."
The latest move comes at a time when women in the conservative kingdom face high rates of sexual harassment.
According to a 2014 study, nearly 80% of women aged 18 to 48 said they have experienced sexual harassment in the country.
The Institute for International Research, a Canadian institute specialized in research and field studies, found that Saudi Arabia witnessed an 11.4% increase in sexual harassment rates in 2016, compared to 2014.