A CPJ special report by Lauren Wolfe
Few cases of sexual assault against journalists have ever been documented, a product of powerful cultural and professional stigmas. But now dozens of journalists are coming forward to say they have been sexually abused in the course of their work.
Nine years passed before Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya spoke publicly about the brutal rape she endured while reporting on right-wing paramilitaries in May 2000. On assignment for the Bogotá daily El Espectador, Bedoya was abducted, bound, blindfolded, and taken to a house in the central city of Villavicencio, where she was savagely beaten and raped by multiple attackers.
Since she began speaking out, Bedoya said, she has encountered a number of journalists—from Colombia to the United States to Europe—who had been raped or sexually abused but chose to stay quiet because of cultural and professional stigmas.