Home » Hollywood News » Amidst #MeToo movement, journalist investigating sexual harassment at Coachella fest was 'repeatedly violated by strangers'

Amidst #MeToo movement, journalist investigating sexual harassment at Coachella fest was 'repeatedly violated by strangers'

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 23 April 2018, 13:20 IST

A REPORTER investigating sexual assault at a music festival has revealed how she was “repeatedly violated by strangers”.

The ongoing festival Coachella 2018 which was headlining for its outstanding concerts by famous musicians and artist, has a dark side too.

A journalist, Vera Papisova went to Coachella to interview women in the festival and find out if they faced sexual harassment but she was herself groped 22 times in the space of 10 hours.

According to Teen Vogue’s Vera Papisova, one out of 54 woman she spoke to at the festival in California confronted that they were assaulted several times.

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Papisova wrote, “This year’s Coachella experience was full of moments I never saw on Instagram — being repeatedly violated by strangers."

Papisova narrated her experience at the festival, “One guy followed me across the field to the Mojave stage, where I was meeting a friend to see FIDLAR. When my friend left to see another band, I stayed behind, and this guy came up behind me and whispered, ‘You’re a goddess’ and then rubbed his hands on my hips and butt.

“When I was waiting in line for a sweet potato taco on Sunday, a man poked me in the stomach and asked me if I do pilates. I said no, and then he asked, ‘What’s the secret behind that sixpack?’ and rubbed my bare stomach with his hand.”

She also explained how she was abused verbally too for denying the men. A man at the festival called her a “heinous bitch” as she refused giving a kiss, another man said she has “lot of attitude for a no-name model” after she declined to accompany him to a bathroom stall.

She explained the festivals mood as, “A festival environment and set up feels like an invitation for men to behave this way, sometimes in groups. Do men see a woman’s presence at a music festival, particularly a dancing woman, as a substitute for consent?”

She said the young women she spoke to all told similar stories. “It’s just really uncomfortable to feel someone right behind you, touching you or rubbing you,” 20-year-old Phoebe told her.

A 16-year-old, Reagan explained what she felt at the festival, “Just the way people touch me when you’re walking through a crowd,” she said. “Why are you touching me there? We’re trying to have fun and fit in here.”

A 23-year-old Logan said, “If you’re in tight quarters, and you’re getting closer to the stage, guys will always come up and start grinding with you to see if you’re into that sort of thing,” she said.

“Music festivals are meant to be spaces for people to relax, make new friends, and enjoy music, but the harsh reality is that many people attend with the expectation that they will not be safe in these environments,” Papisova wrote.

On Twitter, she shared a number of the abusive messages she has received since publishing the story. “Would rape your ass str8 on festival ... bend over f**king femism [sic] s**t, btw ur a 2/10 not more,” one message said.

“This is what it’s like to be a woman on the internet,” Papisova tweeted. “We are conditioned to punish and silence women for being vocal about abusive behaviour. This is why women don’t report.”

Also Read: Watch video: Ariana Grande performs debut of 'No Tears Left To Cry' at Coachella

First published: 23 April 2018, 13:20 IST