We’re only a few days into 2018, but women are already making their stance clear — they will not tolerate sexual harassment any longer.
On New Year’s Eve, several women at various music festivals in Australia and New Zealand reported being sexually harassed and assaulted during the celebrations, according to the Huffington Post.
But far from being damsels in distress, two women took action.
According to the police, one female concert-goer at the Falls Festival in Tasmania teamed up with her friend to find her alleged attacker and turned him into security herself, ABC News reported.
And in New Zealand, Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, an American tourist, chased down the man who groped her at the Rhythm and Vines festival and slapped him in the head — the entire incident was caught on camera and has since gone viral — the New Zealand Herald reported.
“I stand by my actions and hope that I’ve inspired women to feel comfortable in their bodies, no matter how they look, and to stick up for themselves when anybody says otherwise or tries to deny you the right to protect your own body,” Anello-Kitzmiller told the Daily Mail Australia. Anello-Kitzmiller was criticized for being topless at the festival, but said that her outfit choice does not excuse sexual abuse.
“He grabbed my breast. I hit him. There was a lot of built up anger coming from harassment throughout the day… This happens everywhere, not just New Zealand,” she continued.
Both women have been commended on social media for standing up to their harassers.
Well done to the woman involved. The type of behaviour described here is disgraceful.Falls festival: woman allegedly assaulted in mosh pit performed citizen's arrest https://t.co/aOwKuYhFqp— Chris Jack (@chrisjackis) January 1, 2018
It is crap that this happened, but, awesome response :D Falls festival: woman allegedly assaulted in mosh pit performed citizen's arrest https://t.co/IOzAkjlXT2— Jen Cuthbert 🌈 (@LeechIndustries) January 1, 2018
A man sexually assaulted a woman at Falls Festival woman and friend “apprehended him” and took him to security who handed him over to police. Nice work, ladies. You don’t mess with a woman in a mosh pit.— Isobel Ardent (@isobelardent) January 1, 2018
This fierce woman fought a man who groped her at a music festival https://t.co/2gP8RW0jis; I wish she had done more to him. He had no right to touch her.— Emma Benford (@qebenford5) January 3, 2018
But while these two women were able to hold their attackers accountable, multiple reports of harassment and assault were made at various New Year’s Eve festivals in Australia and New Zealand and are still being investigated.
Still, Paul Piticco, co-producer of the Falls Festival, said the reports indicate progress.
"These incidences have been happening at mass gatherings for years and we are encouraged by the fact that this unacceptable behaviour is being identified and people are coming forward," Piticco said in a statement. "It takes a lot of courage [to come forward] and we are happy to be seeing a cultural change where victims feel comfortable to report."
Global Citizen campaigns in support of the fair and equal treatment of everyone. You can take action here to urge countries to improve their efforts to prevent sexual violence.