Turkish girl, friends prevent abuse against woman in Sweden
Burcu Purtul Uçar – ISTANBULA 13-year-old Turkish girl living in Stockholm prevented a woman from being physically assaulted and managed to rescue her from abuse with her eight friends, in a heroic act that was widely praised by the city’s police and the Swedish media.
Swedish-born Selin Fortacı, who prevented the assault on Sept. 16, talked to daily Hürriyet, explaining how she and her eight friends heard a woman scream on the streets when they entered a market.
“A man was hitting a woman while shouting at her and choking her. No adult on the street intervened. My friends and I ran and went over to them. We first told the man kindly to stop, but he swore at us and continued to beat the woman. With a friend of mine, I tried to stop the man by holding his hands. He pushed us back forcefully. We pushed him too. My other eight friends, meanwhile, tried to take the woman away. I called the police immediately,” she said.
The police arrived at the scene in two minutes, Fortacı said. “The woman was so scared. She was crying. I did not know if they were a married or just a dating couple. When the police arrived, the man fled the scene. Police took the woman under protection.”
The crying woman hugged Fortacı and said: “I do not know what would happen if you were not there.”
The police in Stockholm’s Skärholmen borough later posted a photo they took with the girls on Facebook.
“A couple days ago a woman was assaulted by a man near Telefonplan in Hägersten. These girls showed great civil courage when they got involved and helped take care of the woman. They stayed and waited there until police assistants Pontus and Eric came to the crime scene. The story could have ended differently without these girls’ involvement. We are truly grateful for their help and these kinds of events warm our hearts,” the police said.
“The media contacted us after the police posted the image on Facebook,“ Fortacı said.
“During the incident I did not get scared at all. If it happens again, I will do it again, because no one should harm each other. But we were sad that no adults intervened. We intervened in the incident as nine girls aged between 13 and 15. I am very proud of myself and my friends. I want to be a detective when I grow up,” said Fortacı.
Fortacı’s grandmother, Zuhal Fortacı, also commented about the young girls’ heroic act. “The reason why this attack was widely covered in the Swedish media was because there were no adults intervening to rescue the woman, and the children were the only ones who intervened,” the girl’s grandmother said.