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How One Egyptian Police Officer Is Supporting Women Facing Sexual Harassment

A gym-loving police officer from Egypt has become a go-to advice guru for women facing online sexual harassment.

Mina Samir, a 25-year-old fitness enthusiast, is well known for posting healthy lifestyle tips and fitness exercises on Facebook.

With over one million followers on has multiple social media channels - Samir has always treasured his online community, which is why he didn’t hesitate to respond when a female fan asked him for help when she was being blackmailed by her boyfriend.

Mina Samir

"I told her what to do and what steps to take. Gradually I started to receive tons of similar messages every day," Samir said. "The phenomenon of female harassment has become scary. I used to reply to nine or 10 messages a day. Now I cannot cope - in one week, I could receive thousands of messages asking for help."

Women in the Middle East are often victim-blamed when they report sexual harassment due to conservative notions of honour, which allows men to humiliate and blackmail them without fear of consequences.

This relative impunity forces many women to suffer in silence, rather than risk being shamed by their family and community.

The issue is especially widespread in Egypt, where a recent UN report found the 99 percent of women had suffered from some sort of sexual harassment.

"A female victim of harassment usually faces accusations of being indecent or obscene," Samir told Egyptian TV channel TeN. "Few people would support her and harassers exploit the situation."

Rather than blame women, Samir has become devoted to supporting victims of abuse and isn’t afraid of showing his disdain for the men who harass them.

"A cyber-stalker is a coward. He usually manipulates the information he gets about his victim and takes advantage of her fear that her reputation will be smeared," Samir explained."In many cases, women do not know how to protect themselves."

Along with his usual fitness tips, Samir now posts helpful information on how to avoid cyber-stalking and dangerous Facebook groups that use women’s personal information to blackmail them.

With Samir as a role-model, more Egyptians will hopefully begin to support women suffering from harassment and help them receive the justice they deserve.

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