Vietnamese Woman and Brother Allegedly Assaulted for Wearing a Face Mask in Australia

coronavirus attack

A Vietnamese woman living in Australia has reportedly become a recent victim of the racism and violence that Asians are experiencing amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a Facebook post this week, Amber Mai, who is studying in Sydney, claimed that she and her brother were assaulted for wearing face masks on a train.

Amber Mai after the alleged assault. Image via Amber Mai

The male attacker allegedly told them to go back to their country.

“The guy verbally assaulted us, then threw drink on us and physically tried to hit me after the argument,” wrote Amber, whose Vietnamese name is Phuong Anh. “We got told to go back to our country. And this is not the first time I experienced this.”

Amber’s brother. Image via Amber Mai

Amber had been living in Australia for a while, but her brother arrived in the country just four months ago. She could recall him protecting her from the attacker.

“I did argue with him [attacker] and that’s why he got mad and started pouring the drink on us,” Amber recalled. “My brother was scared, he could only stop the guy from hitting me. I managed to kick and push him, but well, I am small and he is big!”

Unfortunately, no one on the train attempted to help them. And while they managed to call the driver’s attention, the driver “only looked from (a) distance” and approached the victims after the attacker had left.

“The saddest part was that despite our effort to hold the guy from leaving the train station, no one stepped up,” Amber wrote. “I guess people might have wanted to help, but seems like it was not serious enough or they were not sure what was going on.”

Image Screenshot via Amber Mai / Facebook

Amber added that she feels “ashamed” of what her brother had to experience. She recalled witnessing similar incidents to “an Asian bus driver” and “an Asian girl on the bus,” in which she had “jumped in and argue, or at least talk back.”

“This is hurtful. I have always been telling my family, my brother beautiful amazing things about Australia. That was the reason they decided to let my brother come here to study with me,” she noted.

Amber’s post is now publicly inaccessible, but many offered support. The incident is also reportedly under police investigation.

“No one deserves this, EVER! Glad you’re both safe and sending love your way,” one Facebook user commented. “That man carries a culture that majority of Australia doesn’t support. Know that you are both 100% welcome here!”

NextShark has reached out to Amber Mai for further comment.

Feature Images via Amber Mai

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