A female student from Sheffield University has shared a disturbing incident in yet another unprovoked attack against Asians amid the growing panic over the novel coronavirus.
The unnamed postgraduate student was reportedly walking up West Street by herself around 1 p.m. on Thursday when she was targeted by an unknown group. According to the victim, the group allegedly attacked her verbally and physically for wearing a protective face mask.
Media outlets in China and Hong Kong have been actively promoting the use of face masks to help citizens protect themselves from the illness.
The woman decided not to file charges but shared the incident with the Sheffield Chinese Community Centre, The Tab reports.
“Yesterday there was an incident on West Street when a student was walking down the street wearing a mask and was assaulted,” Sarah Ng, a staff member at the center, was quoted as saying.
“They were asking why she was wearing a mask and if she has a problem. She didn’t say anything because it was quite scary for her.”
Ng explained that the assault is an indication of the attackers’ lack of cultural understanding.
“It was a one-off incident but I’m thinking we need to put out a balanced message of understanding about why Chinese students are wearing masks,” Ng noted.
“The student is fine. She didn’t want to press charges. She understands now it was because the public doesn’t understand the situation,” Ng said.
“Over the last few years the city has been safe. Sheffield, as a city, has a very good understanding about minority groups and local populations living in harmony.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.