Twenty-year old Madeleine Anello-Kitzmiller, her chest painted with glitter, was walking through the crowds at the New Year’s Rhythm and Vines Festival in Gisbourne, New Zealand with her friend Kiri-Ann Hatfield, when a man ran up to the former and allegedly fondled her.
The incident was filmed by another festival-goer, who managed to capture the moment of the attack and the “revenge,” when two women turned around and followed the man back to his friends chilling on the grass in order to punch him for his actions. While Madeleine kicked him, her friend threw her drink in his face, as the clip shows.
"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,” Madeleine told the Daily Mail Australia."
"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 added.
She shared another story of being sexually abused by both male and female festival-goers even though she was dressed.
“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.”
The incident has sparked an avalanche of reactions on social media, including Twitter.
Some of the users were defending the woman and her stance…
Clothes or not — people still need to learn that you can’t touch someone in a sexual manner without their permission.— KM (@crazycat_kim) 2 января 2018 г.
She had the courage of her convictions. She didn’t run away crying and being self righteous. She really belted him. He probably won’t do that again.— katie becker (@katiebecker16) 2 января 2018 г.
Don’t touch unless invited. It’s not that hard to understand.— Tony Kev (@tonysnapon) 2 января 2018 г.
Others wondered why she was topless when everyone around her was dressed, and said that she simply wanted to draw attention to herself…
Pretty sure her being topless isn’t relevant to her being assaulted but ok— Danielle Loughnan (@danielleloughna) 2 января 2018 г.
Just a question why are you walking around topless everyone else seems to be fully clothed.— David (@rabbo100) 2 января 2018 г.
Why go topless?— PeaceToTheWorld (@PeaceToTheWorl4) 2 января 2018 г.
She went topless to be noticed, she complained to be famous, the end— Over It (@it_it83095503) 2 января 2018 г.
The Rhythm and Vines Festival in New Zealand claims to be “the first place in the world to welcome the first sunrise of the New Year.”