Harassers the page has exposed (right)

When it comes to sexual harassment in the Arab world, victims are rarely emboldened to call out their harassers, who often go unpunished.

However, a group of Arab women is making it easier for victims in Lebanon to speak up, expose their harassers, and warn other women about them.

Meet Lebanon's "Harassment Exposer"

Under the name "Harassment Exposer Lebanon," the Twitter page allows victims of sexual harassment to anonymously share the names and photos of their harassers.

Speaking to StepFeed, the creators of the page - who chose to remain anonymous - said their personal life experiences inspired them to launch the page. 

"The page's creators face sexual harassment on a daily basis. It goes beyond our own experiences as well. Our friends, family, and women in general have been struggling with this for ages," they revealed.

sexual harassment
"Him: What's up, Ashta? Her: What's up, you waste of Oxygen?" Source: Facebook/Kharabish Nasaweya

As for what they aim to accomplish through the page, they hope to warn women to watch out for predators and pressure men to start fearing the consequences of their actions.

"If the law can't do us justice, then we will take it into our own hands," they explained.

They also hope to shed light on the topic of sexual harassment in the region, "so that the topic becomes adequately addressed".

They went on to say, "We know we are not going to change anything on a grand scale on our own, but we have to start somewhere."

"Healing from harassment takes different forms"

When asked about the measures they recommend women should take when dealing with harassment, the group said it depends on every victim's personal preferences and coping methods. 

"Healing from harassment takes different forms. Some victims like to retaliate, others prefer to block it out. There's no shame in either," they explained.

"If you do decide to speak up, our page offers a safer way to do so because it is anonymous," they added.

As for the feedback they have received, in general, it has been positive with the exception of some people demanding evidence to prove their accusations.

"Of course, there are some doubters: People who demand proof, even though we all know there's almost never proof of such incident because they happen quickly or in intimate settings where nothing is witnessed, so it's literally someone's word against another's," they explained.

They also added that they have personally had firsthand experiences with the harassers they have exposed so far.

Lebanese women continue to speak up about sexual harassment

Women in the country frequently complain about verbal and physical sexual harassment. As a way to tackle the growing issue and raise awareness, they have launched several initiatives over the past few years.

In 2016, three female entrepreneurs launched HarassTracker.org, a platform dedicated to tracking and reporting sexual harassment in Lebanon, as well as educating the public on harassment laws and the different organizations that help victims.

Additionally, several social media campaigns have been shedding light on the matter and encouraging victims to speak up, including #NotYourAshta and #MeshBasita campaigns that were launched by the KIP Project on Gender and Sexuality.