Sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination in Pakistani spaces, may it be work, universities, or areas of entertainment has become extremely pervasive in the past few years.
One such incident occurred at the Lahore Solis Music Art Festival which was held last week with International DJs such as Mike William, Burak Yeter, FDVM, Turhan James, Zonderling’s performances.
The show got attended by music and edm lovers from all across the city and the event was an overall success in terms of the performances and the fact of being one of its kind in Pakistan. However, the event did not seem to be an amiable one for some women.
One of the attendees, Lila Belle Khan took to Instagram and shared her shocking experience of the festival in a detailed video. In the video, the young girl goes on to explain that she was initially very excited when she heard of the event taking place for the first time in the city. However, harassment started from the time she entered the festival and how it turned out into a nightmare. She accounts that she noticed that there was a large majority of men, to which she paid no heed to as it’s not just the case in Pakistan, but generally male population does outnumber females all over outside. She said, she got stared by passers-by guys and ignored that too.
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Awareness about harassment that went on at Solis Festival ( @solisfestival ) must begin. Too many girls experienced similar uncomfortable situations for me to remain silent. I will NOT be shut down and feel embarrassed because I was mistreated. To any other girls who experienced any sort of harassment in the past, we stand together. Support your local girl gang!
The situation, however, had gotten worse afterwards and it shocked her the extent that it became a life and death situation for her. One of the security guard grabbed her violently and touched her inappropriately and later pretended like nothing happened when she confronted him with one of her guy friends which later got more dreadful when there were so many hands grabbing her which was really gross, and seemed planned to her.
The ordeal not just happened to her, but her sister was also facing the situation alike who later came for her aid. When the two got together, both sisters were harassed together by the crowd at that point. Their friends, however, tried to protect them while other friends fought back with the crowd who tried to isolate the sisters from their friends.
According to Lila’s estimation the clan of harassers aged 30 and above and were approximately 30 in number. Lila shares that despite her struggle to self-defense, and fighting back, she still couldn’t overcome the trouble but somehow managed to escape along with her sister. Lila expresses her disappointment with the security state at the event. She thinks the team was improper and unsafe itself.
The organizers of the event after taking notice of the situation apologized for the incident they have received. They shared:
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It came to our attention today that an altercation happened at point of entry between an audience member and a representative of the security we had hired which compromised the individual’s personal safety. We have taken strict action against the security company and will make sure we send the culprit to jail and make sure that sort of negative act ends at our future events. The safety of our guests is a deepest concern of ours and we take this situation very seriously. Our goal is to bring an international experience to Pakistan’s finest cities, and the general safety, well being and satisfaction of our guests, even before arriving at our stage, is an important part of this experience.
The incident recalls the incident that took place at an Atif Aslam when a woman was allegedly harassed.
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