Woman Shares Harrowing Details of Being Sexually Harassed At Lahore’s Solis Festival
A young woman alleged on Instagram that she and her sister were sexually harassed at the Solis Festival that was held in Lahore on April 13 at the Oasis Golf & Aqua Resort.
The woman named Lila Khan in an Instagram live session shared a disturbing and detailed account of how a mob of men accosted and groped her at the festival.
“When I got there [at the Solis Festival], I noticed there were a lot of guys. That really didn’t surprise me because in Pakistan, the male community outnumbers the girls in public all the time. People were staring, people always stare. It wasn’t a big deal.”
“As soon as we got there, I had issues with people trying to touch me and my male friends would deal with it. Towards the end of the event, an incident happened that made it really scary. It felt like a life and death thing. That’s what I felt like.”
“A security guard had grabbed me… physically, sexually, aggressively. I turned around and noted who it was. I told my guy friend who talked to him and the guy pretended to be an actual security guard and asked me if everything’s alright.”
Lila says that after she told her friend that the guard was the one who had actually molested her, her friend asked the men to step aside. That is when things worsened.
“As soon as I turned around to face my friend, I don’t know where my other friends went, there were so many hands grabbing me below the waist. Like, millions of hands. It seemed like it was planned. I don’t know if these people knew each other but they acted like they did. It was really gross, really disgusting. My sister at the back of the crowd was dealing with a similar situation. When she noticed it was me who was in the crowd, fighting, she came running in. It was a mob attack. There were a lot of people and it was clear their intention was more than just touching and feeling the girls.”
She added how she remembered feeling vulnerable and terrified that this nightmarish scenario would never end.
“I put my head down, and I put my arm out and hit everyone I possibly could. I ran at full speed just to get out of the crowd. It seemed like it was never-ending. It seemed like I was stuck in one place. It seemed like I was so vulnerable and there was nothing I could do.”
Lila shares her feeling of disgust after fighting her way through the mob, and how the guards at the event turned a deaf ear when her friends tried to report the incident.
“I instantly threw up. I felt so disgusted with the people who did it and with myself. I’m so embarrassed. My friends tried to tell other security guards, they said there was nothing they could do. They told us that you have to talk to the heads about it.”
She adds how despite doing nothing wrong she feels embarrassed but doesn’t want other women to go through a similar experience.
“I don’t want to feel embarrassed about it even though I do and it sucks. I don’t want [harassment, sexual assault] to be such a normal thing. It’s been three days since it happened; it already feels like it’s my fault, I already feel like it’s a normal thing, which is so sad. I don’t want it to feel like that. I want other girls to be careful and know that it does happen and that they’re not alone.”
Lila also expressed disappointment with Solis Festival organisers for failing to provide proper security.
“First, stags shouldn’t have been allowed. Second, the security should have been proper. The Solis team didn’t not have proper security, which is very bad. It was a guard who initiated the [mob attack] on me and my friends.”
Meanwhile the organizers of the event issued an apology about the incident on Instagram as did the company responsible for providing security at the festival.