Using the hashtag #dajegsagdefra, which translates loosely to ‘when I said no’, women have described assault, attacks, violence, harassment and humiliation against them which occurred or continued after they rejected the advances of an attacker.
The hashtag began to trend in response to social media comments suggesting women can avoid being assaulted simply by firmly ‘saying no’ (ved at sige fra). Such comments have been criticised as an attempt to place responsibility for sexual assault, violence and harassment with victims.
The discussion is linked to Denmark’s #MeToo debate, which remains a prominent issue in the country after thousands of women shared stories of sexual harassment in late 2020.
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In the hashtagged tweets, the women describe situations of sexual assault or harassment which escalated after they told the aggressor to stop.
Kirstine Holst, the chairperson of support organisation Voldtægtsofres Vilkår, is among those to have shared personal accounts.
“When I said no I was held by the throat and raped”, Holst’s tweet reads.
#dajegsagdefra fik jeg taget halsgreb og blev voldtaget.
— Kirstine Holst (@Kirstineholst) July 19, 2021
Another voice in the Danish debate, Khaterah Parwani, is also among those to have tweeted using the hashtag.
Parwani is director of Løft, an organisation which works against negative social control.
She described several incidents in which she was subjected to violence and abuse after saying no to an aggressor, including being “unrecognisable at hospital” after an attack and “beaten up in a car and lying bleeding on a wet pavement”.
#dajegsagdefra 1. gang endte jeg ugenkendelig på sygehuset, 2. gang blev jeg tævet i bilen og lå og blødte på et vådt fortorv, 3. gang valgte han at skære sin puls over i vores hjem foran min far, min veninde og min søster, mens min mor kæmpede med livet på sygehuset. 4. gang
— Khaterah Parwani (@khaterahparwani) July 19, 2021
A number of Twitter uses in Denmark also highlighted on Tuesday a report issued by police in North Zealand of an incident in which a 22-year-old man punched and kicked a 15-year-old girl after she asked him to stop whistling at her and friends, and told him her age.
That incident occurred in the town of Espergærde.