A Letter to My Harasser

Noorjahan-Akbar-4(Noorjahan Akbar – Photo by Alex Motiuk)

Hello sir,

I do not know your name, but you passed by me a week after Eid-ul-Fetr in the Bazaar in Kabul. You might remember me. I was the young woman wearing a white scarf and a long red embroidered tunic with dark pants. I was standing by a vegetable stand and bargaining the price of fresh mint when you passed me and nonchalantly pinched my bottom. I turned red. The old man who was selling vegetables noticed but didn’t say anything. He probably sees this every day. This had happened to me more than once, but this time I felt more embarrassed because the old man noticed.

I ran after you and grasped your wrist. Scared and sweating I started yelling. “Why did you do that? How dare you? Do you do this at home to your family members too?” and you started yelling back louder, “You crazy woman! I haven’t done anything. You are not worth doing anything to.”

I was still ashamed to tell people what you had done. You probably remember how everyone was watching us. Other women advised me to keep calm, that this would only ruin my reputation, but I wasn’t going to give up now. I started yelling. Soon the police arrived and took us both to the station.

Read the rest of this extraordinary letter by Noorjahan Akbar at Safe World for Women.

Related: HollaBack! You have the power to end street harassment.

2 Comments on “A Letter to My Harasser”

  1. Mashallah you’re a brave woman you still able to grab him by his wrist and asked him “why”. Shame on him! And no, the women telling you it will only bring you shame — it’s the harasser that’s supposed to receive shame, not the woman! Talking about street harassment, I got several in my youth, but then eventually ceased after I wear hijab, and I’m very grateful to Allah for that. Unbelievable how some men out there are creeps or they’re on a mindset that women are objects.