NEWS
02/01/2018 1:22 PM AEDT | Updated 02/01/2018 1:29 PM AEDT

Women Fight Back After Assaults At Music Festivals Down Under

One made a citizen’s arrest and another punched her attacker

Facebook
A woman hits the man who allegedly groped her at New Zealand's Rhythm and Vines festival

Two women in Australia and New Zealand are winning praise after fighting back against sexual assault at New Year's Eve music festivals, with one apprehending her alleged attacker until security arrived and another punching a man she claimed grabbed her breast.

Music festivals over the New Year's period are popular in both Australia and New Zealand. However, celebrations in recent years have been marred by a string of unsavoury incidents, including a reported rape and several incidents of sexual assault and groping at the Falls Festival in Tasmania, among others.

As the world prepared to welcome in 2018, and despite efforts from the Falls Festival -- which runs events in four Australian states over the New Year's period -- at least three women reported sexual assault at the Tasmanian event. A 32-year-old man was arrested and charged with indecent assault by police after allegedly grabbing a woman's breast in the festival moshpit around 9.30pm on New Year's Eve.

Police said the woman managed to track down her alleged attacker, and left him in the hands of venue security guards.

"Whilst we would rather have no incidents at all, I can tell you that with that particular one the woman involved, the person involved, and her friend actually apprehended the male and then handed them to security, who then handed them to police to be investigated," said Tasmania Police senior sergeant Darren Latham, following the man being charged.

"So it is encouraging that people are taking positive action, but we would of course wish that this didn't happen at all."

Police are still looking into two other incidents at the festival, including another report of groping in the moshpit and one of assault in the campgrounds.

In New Zealand, a woman at the Rhythm and Vines festival took matters even further into her own hands, dishing out some revenge to a man who grabbed her breast. The incident -- which was captured on video and posted to Facebook, where it racked up tens of thousands of views and comments -- saw a man run from the crowd and approach two young women from behind.

He appeared to grab one of them, who was not wearing a shirt and instead had her chest covered with glitter, around the chest area then quickly turn and run away. The two women turned and walked angrily toward the man, with the victim landing several hits to his head and her friend pouring her drink on him.

(warning: video contains nudity)

Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, the victim -- a 20-year-old woman visiting from America -- said the incident was "shocking".

"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," Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller said.

"It was quite shocking. I'm used to love and kindness, freedom of expression, equality."

"I was going to cover up but I didn't want to let them win. My body... is beautiful. It's completely natural. We were born naked."

More On This Topic