After A Female Sportscaster Was Assaulted, Brazilian Journalists Are Saying #LetHerWork

"I deserve to be respected."

After a Brazilian sports reporter was kissed without her consent during a recent broadcast, female journalists are standing up for their right to do their jobs without harassment — using the hashtag #DeixaElaTrabalhar, or #LetHerWork.

It started when soccer reporter Bruna Dealtry shared video of a man leaning over to kiss her while she was reporting at a post-match celebration. Startled, Dealtry looks at the camera and, according to BuzzFeed, says, "That wasn't cool."

In her Facebook post, Dealtry writes of the moment (per Google Translate), "I felt in my skin the feeling of helplessness that many women feel in stadiums, subways, or even walking the streets. A kiss on the mouth, without my permission, while I exercised my profession, which left me without knowing how to act and without understanding how one can feel in the right to do so."

She goes on to share how hard she worked to get where she is, including "college, courses, many lost weekends, many soccer games analyzed, tactical study, technical, research, etc." She adds, "But for the simple fact of being a woman in the midst of a crowd, none of this had value to him." Dealtry closes her post by writing, "I'm a soccer reporter, I'm a woman, and I deserve to be respected."

The incident has sparked a movement among Dealtry's fellow reporters. BuzzFeed reports that around 50 Brazilian journalists in a WhatsApp group for International Women's Day decided to take action after seeing the clip. 

Group member Bibiana Bolson told the site that many women in sports reporting had the "same story" of sexism, adding, "It's important that we feel safe in stadiums, working with sports fans' support, and we want more legal support about it."

Not only has the group since grown to 80 members, but people around the world are using the hashtags #DeixaElaTrabalhar and #LetHerWork to show solidarity with the movement. "My story is theirs, too. Same stories, different presentations," Bolson wrote in a tweet, according to Bustle. "Women. Women who want to WORK, who can be whatever they want, working WHEREver they want and DESERVE respect. This time, we come together."

"Unfortunately these situations are quite common in the profession," Colombian newscaster Maria Paula (above) wrote on Twitter, "but this can be changed." Brazilian journalist Débora Lima (below) also shared that she has "lost track of how many men" have harassed her on the job. Another user from Brazil named Bruna Melo suggested that the problem for many journalists begins "in college."

There is also a video to accompany the campaign, which depicts various instances of female reporters being harassed and assaulted, followed by on-camera messages from women involved in the movement, some of whom hold signs with the hashtag. They say things such as "We just want to work in peace" and "We need respect," according to BBC. The clip also aired during a recent soccer match at Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

The campaign joins movements such as #MeToo and Time's Up, which are fighting to raise awareness and bring an end to sexual abuse in the workplace and all aspects of life. It's also not the first effort to highlight the issues women in sports deal with on a regular basis.

A 2016 video challenged men to read "mean tweets" to female sports journalists, many of which included threats of violence. Another campaign called Cover the Athlete focused on the sexism female athletes frequently deal with during interviews.

Watch the video for #DeixaElaTrabalhar below:

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