Antwerp: Woman assaulted

Antwerp: Woman assaulted

This might be a crime like any other, but I think the sister's response is quite strange. It could happen to anybody (her sister doesn't dress Muslim), but it would have been worse for them (they're Muslim), and her brother could have ended up in jail.

Why bring religion into this?

A 26 year old woman was assaulted Monday, in the middle of the day, in Antwerp at the entrance to her home. On the Lange Beeldekensstraat a man started following her, and later entered her home.

The young woman is too upset to tell her story, and so her sister S. (29) does it for her. "Because now it seems that you're not safe anymore even in your own house".

"My sister goes to 'second chance education' in Diest," says S. "On Monday at 2:30PM, she got out of the train and walked from Antwerp-Central to the Lange Beeldekensstraat (in Antwerp-North), where our parents live. There a man began to follow her. She estimates he's 30, 35 years old and Moroccan. Every now and then when she stopped, he also stopped. She urged him to go away, but that didn't help. He asked her for her nationality and proposed in poor Dutch to go drink something together. My sister barely understood him and ignored him."

When she came to her home, the stalker was still there. At first the young woman didn't dare go inside, but when she did turn the key, he threw her inside. She immediately turned around, but he set his foot between the door and held her firmly."

"He touched my sister and kissed her neck," says S. "She tried to get away, but he was too strong. Then she bit his hand and began to shout very loudly. She said that our brother was home and our parents, at which the man ran off."

Crying, the young woman phoned her sister. "I thought that something bad happened to our parents," says S. "Right after the assault our brother came home. He was naturally in a state. If he would have come home sooner, then I think he would have killed that man. Dreadful. Then he would have landed in jail for such a bum."

The assaulted woman wears modern clothing and doesn't wear a headscarf. "This could therefore happen to anybody," says S. "But if that man had raped my sister, it would have wrecked her life and that of the family. As Muslims we must stay virgins until marriage. Who would have still wanted to marry my sister?

The sister S. is coping now in her own way. "Everybody is frightened now," says S. "How can you protect yourself against something so dreadful?" The police is analyzing the CCTV images from the store next to the home of the Turkish woman. The investigation will show if this was an individual case.

Source: GvA (Dutch)