Sofia Rusova was a young political journalist in a provincial Russian city when a lawmaker pursued her with sexual text messages, staked her out and even assaulted her near her apartment.
“I was in shock and for some time I couldn’t walk the streets alone,” she says.
But she knew from prior experience that police would not react and most of her colleagues did not take the situation seriously.
“Some people who heard my story saw it as a funny adventure and told me I should be happy to be an object of such interest,” she says. In the end, she asked her father to confront the lawmaker and the pressure subsided.
Rusova’s story is typical in Russia, where sexual harassment is seen as a joke rather than a problem, even as the #MeToo movement sweeps across western countries.