A female reporter who was reporting on the World Cup was groped and kissed by a man live on television.
The reporter, Julieth Gonzalez Theran, who works for Deutsche Welle’s Spanish news channel, was speaking in front of the camera in Russia when an unidentified man suddenly came into the frame to kiss her on the cheek and appeared to have touched her breast.
She continued to talk to the camera as the man disappeared into the crowd.
Deutsche Welle reported her to say, “I had been at the scene for two hours to prepare for the broadcast and there had been no interruptions. When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation. But afterwards, when I checked to see if he was still there, he was gone.”
She took it to Instagram to lambast his actions, including a video of the incident. She wrote in Spanish, “RESPECT! We don’t deserve this treatment! We are equally valuable and professional. I share the joy of football, but we must identify the limits of affection and harassment.”
While some people including Bibiana Steinhaus, Germany’s first female referee, has stood up for Julieth and called the action “unacceptable”, some people on Twitter claimed it wasn’t harassment.
One man wrote, “It was a guy being funny on TV.”
That is not sexual assault. Its a guy being funny on live tv. Jesus christ.
— Tyler Gallagher (@Ktgallag) June 20, 2018
Others said that she wasn’t groped – he was simply grabbing her arms.
Watch the video, he grabbed her arm. the kiss was still inappropriate, but n o breast groping here.
— LeAnda Dee (@bossyone77) June 20, 2018
Another went as far as saying that it was the journalist’s fault for sending mixed signals.
if you had slapped the guy when he first started it would have sent him a message. but you LAUGHED about it like it was fun – so he thinks he has permission to continue. MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
— Wayne Waldo (@waynothewino) June 20, 2018
One man even said, “When I hear the term ‘sexually assaulted’ I don’t think of a kiss on the cheek.”
When I hear the term "sexually assaulted" I don't think of a kiss on the cheek.
— Robert Sobel ? (@rsobelexaminer) June 20, 2018
But forcing a kiss on someone is, in fact, considered as sexual assault.
According to AWARE’s website:
Sexual assault can include:
Any penetration without consent (e.g. vaginal, oral or anal), using any part of the body (penis, fingers) or object.
Any unwanted sexual touching, stroking, kissing, groping, etc.
Unwanted sexual requests, messages or gestures, including electronically, in the workplace or elsewhere.
Being made to view pornography against your will.
Unwanted taking and/or sharing of nude or intimate photographs or videos, e.g. upskirting.
One woman pointed out a double standard.
For everyone saying he did not grab her breast. Hypothetically we will say he did not, I have a question. If this was your wife or daughter would you approve of this? Yeah, I think not. #havesomerespect
— RDantes (@rdantes7) June 20, 2018
If you bear witness to a sexual harassment or assault, alert the police immediately. If you know someone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted and needs help, contact AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre at 6779 0282.
Image: Julieth Gonzalez Theran’s Instagram