U.S. journalist Andrea Noel found herself at the center of a social media storm after she shared a video of her sexual harassment online.
The 27-year-old was walking through Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood on International Women’s Day when a man approached her, lifted her dress and pulled down her underwear. The freelance reporter posted CCTV footage of the assault on Twitter to help police track the offender.
Since then she has received a torrent of violent, misogynistic abuse. Online trolls have even posted her location online, and groups of people have been loitering outside her house, forcing her to look for somewhere else to live.
A Mexican newspaper columnist was fired after he wrote about the case for SDP Noticias. He accused Noel of fabricating the story to attract attention, and described her as a “feminazi.”
Yet Noel says she has received a great deal of abuse since moving to Mexico from Los Angeles three years ago.
“I’ve had my chin slashed, my nose broken and my forehead severely scarred,” Noel said. “That’s why I decided to make an issue of getting my skirt pulled down in the street. As the guy ran off I said to myself, after three years of this harassment, ‘not this time.’”
Noel added that she had no regrets about sharing the video.
“I’ve had rape victims, women in abusive relationships, sex trafficking victims all get in touch with me pleading for me to help them,” she said.
According to the Mexican National Statistics Institute, 72 percent of women living in Mexico City say they have suffered some form of sexual violence.