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Katya Ivanova
(1962 - living) Russia - U.S.A.

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In 1997, Katya Ivanova, a lesbian living in Moscow in the Russian Federation, went to the local police station to lodge a complaint against neighbours who had assaulted and threatened her. She showed the officer dealing with her complaint the notes her neighbours had pushed under her door containing threats and homophobic abuse.

As soon as he saw these, the officer began to sexually harass her. Katya Ivanova left the police station regretting that she had turned to the police for help. Several months later the officer summoned her to come to his office. Katya Ivanova assumed that he wished to see her in connection with her complaint; she was wrong.

"He threatened that my neighbours might kill me, but that he would be able to help me. Then he told me that the only way he would help me is if I slept with him. When I attempted to resist him, he grabbed me and threw me on the table. He beat me in the face and raped me, right there in his office."

In the next few months she was summoned on a number of occasions by the same officer to come to his office or to other locations. Knowing that if she did not respond she would be arrested and detained, Katya Ivanova met him.

"Ostensibly, this was to investigate my case, but in reality, he called me in so that he could rape me again."

Katya Ivanova applied for asylum in the USA. In May 2001, with the help of Amnesty International, Katya was accepted as a refugee in the United States.


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