MONROE, Conn. — For her keynote speech Tuesday at the Speaking of Women fundraiser for The Center for Family Justice, Lara Logan of "60 Minutes" did something she had never done before.
For the first time in public, Logan displayed photographs taken of her during a horrifying mass sexual assault in Tahrir Square in Egypt while she was covering the Arab Spring.
The up-close images — which she found on the Internet — show her face distorted in pain as she was attacked by a mob of men and nearly killed.
"Why am I showing them here today? I want people not to see me how I am today," said Logan, "here in my pretty dress and having a nice meal in this beautiful place. ... This is my dark place."
Logan's tale of survival, told with unsparing honesty, hit home with the crowd of nearly 500 people. They had turned out at The Waterview in Monroe to support the Center, which provides services and works with victims of sexual and domestic assault in Bridgeport and five surrounding towns.
That day in February 2011, Logan thought she would die at the hands of the mob of 200 to 300 men.
"I tried to run and couldn't run," said Logan. She felt people "tearing at my clothes, my hair, my skin" and saw people filming and taking photos.
"What were they thinking?" said Logan, who cried at some points during her cathartic speech. "They weren't thinking about intervening."
Logan, 46, who grew up in South Africa under apartheid, told of her process of healing after she returned home to Texas with her husband and children. She compared her process of healing to that of the victims helped by The Center.
"Healing is not the same thing as forgetting or erasing," Logan said. "You don't go back to who you were before" — just like you don't go back to who you were before you became a mother or got married.
"And who would want to go back? We shouldn't even try," she said.
The Center for Family Justice domestic violence hotline number is 203-384-9559 and the sexual violence hotline is 203-333-2233. The Center is located in Bridgeport and also serves Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.
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