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Stories of sexual assault and rape on the Silk Road

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:12 pm
by steven
If you have a story you have heard or experienced yourself about sexual assault or rape whilst traveling the Silk Road, you are welcome to share it in the space below.

Read safety tips at our page for solo female travelers travel,

Sexual abuse/attack on Australian female tourist in Wakhan

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:47 am
by Christian77
There has been some mention of solo female travel in the Wakhan, with not enough anecdotes to give a full assessment, but with enough smaller incidents to cause some worry. And today in Afghanistan there is news that the GOVERNOR of the Wakhan District attacked an Australian woman who crossed from Tajikistan. The media in Afghanistan is using the term "abused." It is a euphemism that covers everything from harassment, molestation, to rape. https://idlg.gov.af/en/3610/

She filed a complaint with the border guards as she exited. This was probably a good move, as border guards should be more independent that the local police who are basically the governor's bodyguards.

Re: Sexual abuse/attack on Australian female tourist in Wakhan

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:54 am
by girlgonetolive
Thanks for sharing. Yes I have heard of another woman who was molested by a guard. Another woman who encountered a man in a restaurant who tried to kiss her. Sexual assaults against women happens regularly all over the world. There's no reason to think this part of the world is different.

Attempted rape of solo female tourist, Bishkek-Osh highway

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:08 am
by Christian77
A young western female tourist took a seat in a shared car to Osh, and was treated normally by the men in the shared vehicle. However, at a toilet stop 5 local men followed her into the women's toilet area and attacked her from behind. One of them fell down, and she hit another one in the throat and that gave her an opening to run back to her car. Sounds like they were a little too drunk to successfully attack a single woman (but, for context, this woman seemed very athletic and very tough).

Consider that within 30 seconds of seeing a woman get out of a car, 5 local men decided to gang rape her.

When she returned to her car, crying a visibly in shock, the Kyrgyz travellers did nothing in response. They didn't call the police or confront the men, they just drove off as if nothing had happened. Why? I'm quite sure it is because they were scared. Kyrgyz people know better than to confront local men in an area where they are a stranger. You'll get knifed for your Good Samaritan actions and then find out that their cousins, brother, dads or uncles are the local police officers.

This is the second attempted rape story on the Osh-Bishkek highway I've been told of by solo female travellers this year. Take the plane ($50). You can buy a ticket from any one of the hundred or so "aviakassa" plane ticket offices in Osh or Bishkek. Or travel with a companion who doesn't let you out of their sight.

After visiting Kyrgyzstan regularly for 8 years and talking to many women, my sense is that (for foreign white women) Bishkek is getting safer, while the rest of the country is getting worse. Or it could be that it's just as bad as it always has been, but that the increase in tourist numbers equals and increase in anecdotes. But definitely the Bishkek centre is hugely improved.

Re: Attempted rape of solo female tourist, Bishkek-Osh highway

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:16 am
by steven
I don't think it got worse. You are just hearing more of it because numbers increased.

Re: Attempted rape of solo female tourist, Bishkek-Osh highway

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:24 am
by Christian77
I also think that many of the "new" tourists are not as prepared or cautious and travel-hardened as those a decade ago. I would say they seem younger as well, but it could just be that I'm getting older. But definitely more female solo travellers. I remember being surprised when I would meet one before, now it doesn't seem out of the normal at all.

Re: Attempted rape of solo female tourist, Bishkek-Osh highway

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:29 am
by steven
Christian77 wrote:I also think that many of the "new" tourists are not as prepared or cautious and travel-hardened as those a decade ago. I would say they seem younger as well, but it could just be that I'm getting older. But definitely more female solo travellers. I remember being surprised when I would meet one before, now it doesn't seem out of the normal at all.
I absolutely agree, we need to make more of an effort to highlight these problems - a lot of younger travellers are simply not aware.

Thanks a lot for sending in these reports, it's very helpful. I am going to make a master-thread and encourage others to come forward with their stories.

Re: Attempted rape of solo female tourist, Bishkek-Osh highway

Posted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:58 am
by Lovetheworld
Alcohol is definitely a problem. Of which you don't have to notice anything.
We had a nice time in Kyrgyzstan (summer 2018). But once, in one of the valleys south of Issyk Kul, we encountered two drunk guys.
They blocked us, and wanted something bad, whatever it was.
They were so drunk, they were going to stop everybody, so I don't think it had anything to do with being tourists.

I reversed quickly, but the track was not straight, so I was going near the edge of the track (where a small ditch was). So they narrowed in (basically walking like zombies) towards us on the right half of the road. That gave an opening on the left side of the track, which I immediately took, almost driving them over. One of them hit our car with a huge stick (small tree) that he had, it made a small dent, but I was happy he didn't hit the glass.

When people are so drunk, they will just hit anything in their path. Whatever bad intentions they have.
However, they can be so drunk that they are also much weaker.

Very bad though, that they were not very supportive to her after it had happened.