What Happened When a Journalist Revealed Her Street Harassment on Twitter

March 11th 2016

Laura Donovan

Freelance journalist Andrea Noel faced a lot of trolling after posting a video of herself getting harassed on the streets of Mexico City, a city struggling with a serious street harassment problem.

Andrea Noel Twitter

On International Women's Day, Noel was walking along a sidewalk in Condesa, Mexico City when an unidentified man yanked down her underwear and ran away before she could catch him. After obtaining the footage from CCTV, Noel posted the video on Twitter.

"If anyone recognizes this idiot, please identify it," she wrote, as translated from Spanish to English by Twitter. "Women should be able to walk safely. #FelizDiaDeLaMujer"

Though many people stood up for Noel, she also faced a backlash of harassment and frightening threats from trolls who showed no sympathy for her experience.

Noel went on to retweet some of the critical responses to her street harassment incident, prompting many of the people in question to delete their own tweets or delete their accounts entirely. Some, however, were captured via screenshot prior to being removed:


“Oh. You should let yourself be loved, and stop complaining. You should be thankful that someone enjoys your body," wrote one Twitter user that is no longer active, as noted by BuzzFeed News.

A video from news site El Daily Post has also translated some of the disturbing messages she has received regarding her video, including:

"Next time I'll rape you," "That's what you deserve for wearing a short skirt," and "You should have been raped":

Andrea Noel abuse

Noel has called on Twitter to ban people who have sent her threats since the video went live:

ATTN: has reached out to Noel for further comment about the situation and will update this story if she responds.

How women in Mexico are fighting back against street harassment.

As Noel noted in her tweets, street harassment is a huge issue in Mexico City and throughout the country. A female organization called Hijas de Violencia (Daughters of Violence) is tackling the harassment problem by pointing confetti guns at the harassers, turning on their speakers, and singing "Sexista Punk." A recent video by AJ+ shows footage of the women in this group confronting men for their harassment:

"We recommend that you have fun with it so that you're not left feeling violated from what happened and you're able to move on and still have a great day," Hijas de Violencia co-founder Ana Karen explained in the AJ+ video.

Fellow co-founder Ana Beatriz recently told Fusion, however, that the group has faced "a lot of trolling" for trying to address this problem and stand up for women.

“Because we’ve gone viral, it’s increased to a grand scale,” Ana Beatriz told Fusion. “We’ve received a lot of threats, a lot of trolling, talking about murder and rape. The virtual space is not a space in another world, it reflects the same.”

Many women have expressed frustration over the treatment of their gender in Mexico. A 2012 report from the National Citizen Femicide Observatory found that Mexico ranks 16th in female murders globally and that less than two percent of femicide cases in the country resulted in an arrest or sentencing. Though Mexico established the General Law of Access for Women to a Life Free of Violence nearly a decade ago, the National Citizen Femicide Observatory argued in its report that the law has been unsuccessful in effectively protecting women against violence.

RELATED: What Can Happen If You Catcall a Woman in Mexico