Commentators say the attacks reflect a misogynist ideology that penalizes women for leaving the house, seeks to terrorize them out of public life, and views sexual violence as a source of shame for the victim, not the attacker.Sexual harassment was barely discussed in Egypt before 2006.Perpetrators regularly claim to be helping the women when in fact they are attacking them, which increases the difficulty for rescuers and leaves the women not knowing who to trust.

Attempts are made to pull or cut her clothes off, and her body is pulled in different directions as men move her through the crowd.

Women regularly report digital penetration of the vagina and anus.

Attackers have used sticks, knives and blades, and in several cases sharp objects have been inserted into the victim's vagina.

The last thing I heard was "don't worry," followed by screaming ...

The attackers regularly pretend to be there to help the women, adding to the confusion.

Women have reported being groped, stripped, beaten, bitten, penetrated with fingers and raped.

According to Amnesty International, the attacks last from a few minutes to over an hour.

Women who have described attacks in or near Tahrir Square say the men are usually in their 20s and 30s. Separated from her friends by the crowd, or out alone, the woman finds herself encircled by a large group of men who grope her breasts, genitals and buttocks.

At first they tried to rip my bag out of my hands; I then felt hands all over my body, tearing down my trousers and long jacket; they were undoing its clips. They pulled my trousers and pants down, but couldn’t get them all the way down because I was wearing boots that they couldn’t manage to get off ...