In a shocking incident that once again raises questions on the safety of women, a Columbian journalist reporting on the FIFA World Cup 2018 was sexually assaulted at a city square in Saransk, Russia, on Friday, June 15.
Julieth Gonzalez Theran was on duty for the Spanish news channel of Deutsche Welle, a German news station, and was live on TV when a man appeared out of nowhere, kissed her on the cheek, grabbed her breast and walked off.
However, Theran managed to stay calm and continued reporting from the spot. She later posted the video of the incident on her Instagram account and said that people must respect female journalists.
"We do not deserve this treatment. We are equally as professional and deserving. I share the joy of football but we must identify the limits between affection and harassment," Theran wrote.
The Columbian reporter spoke of the incident to DW and said that the team had been preparing for the World Cup broadcast for about two hours without interruptions and that the man appeared only after she went live.
"I had been at the scene for two hours to prepare for the broadcast and there had been no interruptions," she told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
"When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation. But afterward, when I checked to see if he was still there, he was gone."
The man, who assaulted Theran, is yet to be identified.
Strangely, many of Twitter have defended the man and said that he wasn't trying to assault her but was just filled with joy about the World Cup. They even went on to say that Tharen looks unfazed and that she herself did not care about who kissed her.
Here are a few comments
The man obviously didn’t mean to grope her as seen he must have been intoxicated . gives her a kiss on the cheek which is normal in some places. it’s not acceptable. But it’s not sexual harassment— Johnathan ?❄️ (@0ToleranceJ) June 20, 2018
you call THAT sexual harassment? Is this some kind of joke? people are simply overfilled with joy— anna_novikova (@anna_novikova) June 20, 2018
She really looked traumatized, poor girl, oh wait a second....— BowerPower (@bowerpower86) June 20, 2018
However, the channel came out in support of the reporter and lashed out at those defending the unidentified man.
"Sorry, but no. Kissing someone against their will is sexual harassment. Groping a woman's breast while she's busy doing her job is sexual harassment. This behavior is unacceptable, and it needs to be treated as such," it said.