During the recent weeks, ‘victim blaming’ has become a topical discussion in the country after many women were reported taking to social media accounts to reveal alleged sexual harassment at private health centre in Qatar.
In the posts, women stated testimonies on their terrible experiences from doctors at Advance Medical Clinic, recounting invasive incidents in which the doctors such as dermatologist violated their personal space by taking consent to touch their private parts.
Some others women complained that they were targeted with verbal harassment by the doctors.
One of the victims said: “I went to him because of an outbreak all over my face and was upset about it. He later said let me check your entire body and your breasts, I’m sure there is acne there too. I insisted that I don’t have acne anywhere else other than my face.”
After many horrifying testimonies were posted on social media, the women were able to recognise the centre and culprit. While a lot of complaints regarding harassments were reported in the past, the women has come forward claiming that the clinic failed to address the issue until their plight went viral online.
During a statement issued by Advance Medical Clinic, they affirmed that they had dismissed physician Moudad El-Amatouri and “referred him for investigation”, making note that the results will be publicly disclosed.
One of the residents in Qatar said that the doctor had told her friend to revisit him =for a “free checkup” so that he could verbally harass her.
The victims were able to recognise the culprit easily after sharing their testimonies on social media, realising they had faced similar incidents previously at the same clinic with the same doctor.
The Ministry of Interior has confirmed that the designated officials are following up on this incident in line with the law. The statement said: “The Ministry of Interior affirms its full concern for the security and safety of society and its members.”
Although many defended the victims, many others blamed the women who went for a check up with male doctor on their own volition, claiming the offender was “still human” regardless of his occupation and thus justifying his actions.
This statement sparked a conversation on victim blaming, a common occurrence in any case around the world that involves sexual harassment and assault.
Qatari columnist and writer Reem Al-Harmi in her twitter account said that, “I realised that there are some who are blaming the victim in their tweets. The victim blaming culture further enables the harasser to continue his deviant behaviour. By blaming the victim, you indirectly legitimise this behaviour even if you do not intend to do so,” tweeted Qatari columnist and writer Reem Al-Harmi. Al-Harmi also said that harassers and assailants are often people of a high position, from “an official, manager, to a university professor”.
She further added: “I hope that no woman who gets harassed remains silent, even if it is verbal. The law is on her side and will do her justice, and the relevant institutions will act to preserve the privacy of these issues.”
The public urged the authorities to take stricter measures on continuously reported complaints of sexual harassment cases, calling for swifter action to solve the issues. Some of the community members have urged victims to speak up and share their testimonies on such allegations without fearing a reaction from society so that it could prevent anyone else from being the victim.
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