In thousands of devastating tweets, women in Turkey are sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse in the wake of the brutal killing of a young Turkish woman.
Police said Özgecan Aslan tried to fight off a rape attempt using pepper spray on a bus in her hometown of Mersin, in southern Turkey, on Wednesday, but was stabbed and beaten to death by her attacker. Her body was later burned and dumped in a lake.
The 20-year-old psychology student's murder prompted huge rallies across Turkey this weekend to protest violence against women, The Guardian reported, and the public outcry over her death also played out on social media.
In more than 800,000 tweets using the hashtag #sendeanlat (Turkish for "tell your story too") women share their own stories of abuse and tips for survival, the BBC reported. Writer Tonella Himbeer, who translated dozens of the tweets into English, told the BBC that the campaign is breaking the country's taboos against talking about street harassment. "It's when men read stories under #tellyourstory & say 'I am petrified, I can't believe it' & when women read & don't even get surprised," one Twitter user wrote.
The campaign follows a string of high-profile murders that have galvanized women's rights advocates in Turkey. Aslan's death even prompted Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan -- not exactly a feminist himself -- to condemn violence against women as the "bleeding wound" of the country.
Women skip a bus as it is too crowded
Women skip a minibus not to be the only passenger
take a cab and be harassed thru mirror
— MILKY (@grinch1969) February 15, 2015
Wearing mini skirt, tight, laughing loudly, putting on red lipstick seem like reason of rape in Turkey. #sendeanlat
— Şimal Çınar (@SimalCinarr) February 16, 2015
— Hande AYDIN (@hande_aydin) February 15, 2015
— haticeclsl (@haticeclslr) February 15, 2015
"It's when you enter your flat but do not turn on the lights so that they outside wouldn't notice which flat is yours." #tellyourstory
— OutForBeyond (@OutForBeyond) February 15, 2015
An encouragement 2 talk abt experiences as a woman turned into an amazing cry, witness account&mourning. Lets go global now #tellyourstory
— İdil Elveriş (@idilika) February 15, 2015