Festival Attendee Speaks Out After Fighting Back Against Man Who Groped Her (NSFW)
The 2017 edition of New Zealand's long-running Rhythm and Vines music festival was unfortunately overshadowed by assault on New Year's Eve when a man groped a topless female concertgoer — who was then recorded violently responding to her attacker.
The Daily Mail reports that the woman in question, 20-year-old Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, has since taken the opportunity to speak out against this type of unwanted attention — and defend a woman's right to expect autonomy over her own body regardless of whatever she happens to be wearing.
"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," Annello-Kitzmiller told the paper. "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."
As you can see in the NSFW clip embedded above, Annello-Kitzmiller and her friend followed the man back to his spot on the grass, where they threw a drink in his face and hit him repeatedly. The Daily Mail's report notes that a portion of the online commentary in response to the incident has come from those who feel the women were essentially asking to be groped by walking around in short skirts with glitter and paint covering their bare breasts. It's an argument Annello-Kitzmiller has forcefully refuted, noting that there have been plenty of times she's been similarly assaulted while wearing average everyday outfits — and in any event, she doesn't feel nudity should be a source of shame or an excuse for invading someone else's personal space.
"In the end, we are all born naked, and each human is uniquely similar to the next in that we all have a naked body. You don't look at yourself in the shower and say 'ew, disgusting,' right?" pointed out Annello-Kitzmiller. "So why should anybody say that to anybody else? A human's body is their own, and nobody has a right to touch you without your consent, regardless of what they're wearing or the lack thereof."