Unfortunately, even though international attention has been brought to the widespread sexual harassment and abuse epidemic, some men still haven’t gotten the memo. In fact, one woman in New Zealand fought back against a man who groped her at a music festival over the weekend, reminding us that harassment is still a major issue, even in public spaces where there are witnesses.
Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, a 20-year-old woman from the United States, was attending the Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne, New Zealand when a man walked up behind her and groped her breast in front of hundreds of onlookers. Anello-Kitzmiller, who was walking with a female friend, was topless and sporting glitter paint at the time.
The women quickly retaliated, striking the man several times. Her friend also poured a drink on him, according to The New Zealand-Herald. Though we don’t condone violence, we also understand the woman’s reaction to being touched without consent and support every person’s right to defend themselves from unwanted touch.
Anello-Kitzmiller told the Herald that she received much criticism for her decision to wear body paint instead of a shirt, with some festival-goers telling her she was “disgusting.” She also described the encounter with the man from her perspective, saying, “I was walking to my campsite and saw this hand come up. He got a handful of my boob. I went over and hit him. It was quite shocking. I’m used to love and kindness, freedom of expression, equality.”
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