Video of woman’s undies pulled down in public stirs victim shaming debate

Mel Buttigieg

A woman has been blamed for her own sexual assault in Mexico City after CCTV of a man pulling down her underwear as she walked leisurely in the street during the day was posted to social media.

Andrea Noel, a freelance journalist living in Mexico City, obtained the footage of her own attack on Tuesday and posted the video to her personal Twitter account the following day, to advocate for herself and other victims of sexual assault.

CCTV footage shows a man creeping behind Andrea Noel with his hands up her skirt. Picture: Twitter/metabolizedjunk

“My dress was pulled up and my underwear pulled down in the middle of the street at #Condesa,” she wrote following the incident on Tuesday on broad daylight.

The footage of the attack captures the moment a man sneaks up on the woman, dressed in a mid-thigh length dress, lifts it up and pulls her underwear down. The woman falls to the ground as the man runs away.

“If anyone recognizes this idiot, please identify him,” she wrote in Spanish with the video post. “Women should be able to walk safely.”

“Sexual assault is not a funny prank. It’s an abusive violation,” she goes on to say.

Journalist Andrea Noel speaks out about her own daylight sexual assault. Pic: Tumblr/Andrea Noel

The post has stirred a barrage of hateful comments from the public saying the attack, coincidentally on International Women's Day, was Ms Noel’s own fault because of how she was dressed, and for being “blonde”, bringing to light Mexico’s flippant stance on sexism.

“I’m sorry for what I did. The next time I’ll rape you,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Good for them. That’s what you deserve for wearing a short skirt,” wrote another.

“You should’ve been raped. F***ing blonde,” wrote another.

Ms Noel outed the haters on social media, requesting for their accounts to be blocked.

The Vice reporter has been receiving threats of rape after she exposed the act on social media. Picture: Tumblr/Andrea Noel

“Reactions like these described exactly the problem facing women in #AméricaLatina #Mexico…” she wrote.

Ms Noel spoke openly about a public perception in Mexico that it’s a woman’s own fault if she is sexually assaulted.

"There's no law in Mexico punishing street sexual harassment,” she wrote.

She said even if there were, women would be reluctant to report the abuse.