Colleen Quinlan ‘15, Staff Writer
On Monday October 28th, Merrimack College welcomed CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan to speak to the Merrimack Community at the Roger Center for Arts. Logan, who is well known for being the chief foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News and a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes, spoke to the audience about situations she has come across while traveling as a journalist. She spoke of one horrific event specifically which changed her life and her career.
On February 11th in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in Egypt, Logan was sent to cover a report on the mob that had formed, she was surrounded by more than 100,000 people in the square. As she tried to focus on the camera and deliver a story, members of the crowd turned on her and sexually assaulted her. “I did not do a talk show or write a book about it, instead I decided to speak out honestly and talk about it from the start,” Logan says.
Logan didn’t seek to gain anything from talking about that tragedy that happened to her rather to be honest with everyone and wanted the world to know that she was not just attacked, but that she was sexually assaulted. “I felt if I did not share with everyone what happen, it would be my dirty little secret” Logan explains to the audience. After the horrific event she was hospitalized then chose to take time off to recover in privacy with her family. Logan decided to break her silence by being interviewed on the show “60 Minutes” where she opened up from the start on what happen to her. “When I think back to that night, every moment from start to finish was clear to me with what was going on” Logan says.
The incident involved 200-300 men assaulting her by touching and grabbing her along with tearing off her clothes completely. “I did not even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks because I could not feel it, because I believe all I could feel was their hands raping me over and over again”. Logan says. Logan told the audience, during the night of her attack that she was screaming and with her screaming she was hoping they would stop or someone would stop them, but it was the opposite.
Logan was fighting for about 25 minutes and did not think she was going to live once her and her bodyguard was separated. Logan was fighting to stay alive and could not help but think this may be the end. Logan said the entire time she went numb and focused on fighting because of her two young children at home in Washington needed her, and she needed to see them again.
Logan was rescued that night by a woman dressed head to toe in a black religious robe. The woman put her arms around Logan and held her tight in hopes the men would back away, and they eventually did. The only thing she can remember was the eyes of the black robed woman staring at her calming the overpowering fear she had felt for her life. After some time of being protected by this brave woman she was rescued by a group of soldiers and was reunited with her team.
Logan continues her tour all over the world to share her story and act as a voice to all female journalists who have felt this pain from similar experiences. We commend Lara for being so Brave and are honored she made time to visit our school and share her story with us.Logan told the audience that night she was speaking out to help end the code of silence surrounding sexually assault on female journalists.
Tim O’Leary a junior who attended Lara’s speech stated that he enjoyed Logan’s honesty and her incredible story. “It was great to have someone as prestigious as Ms. Logan to speak at Merrimack. She is a wonderful reporter who helps bring events of the world to our attention. She offered amazing insight into the world we live in; I hope to have a taste of her experience one day.”