A pair of international students in Australia are now afraid to leave their residence after being beaten in a “racially-motivated” attack this week.
The incident, which was caught on video, reportedly occurred near Elizabeth St. in Melbourne’s Central Business District (CBD) around 5:30 p.m. on April 15.
The female students, who came from Southern Asia, have been studying at the University of Melbourne for several months. The incident reportedly started after the pair witnessed the young women abusing other people.
“They were yelling ‘get out of our country’ at the other group,” one of the students told 10 daily. “It wasn’t directed at us, but then we made eye contact and they started saying it to us.”
In the video, one of the students is seen being punched repeatedly in the head before getting dragged by the hair and kicked in the stomach.
Meanwhile, the other student is seen being blocked from helping her friend by the attacker’s companion.
A man with a dog is seen intervening and successfully stopping the attack. At the same time, another woman is seen intervening between the student trying to help her friend and the woman blocking her.
“You’re a f*cking imbecile! Don’t f*cking hit me!” the attacker yells at her target before saying “sorry” to the man who intervened.
The victims reportedly sustained minor injuries from the attack. Victoria Police confirmed the time and location of the incident.
The attacker, who wore a dark top with a light-colored skirt, is described as Caucasian, about 20 years of age and approximately 150 centimeters (4 feet 11 inches) tall, with a skinny build and shoulder-length brown hair, according to 9News.
The other offender is also described as Caucasian and of similar age, with shoulder-length blonde hair.
To make matters worse, a man wearing a black puffer jacket with a black backpack reportedly stole AirPods from one of the victims. He was present in the vicinity but was not involved in the attack.
The students reportedly claimed that they have suffered abuse thrice in the last few weeks, with people fake-coughing or yelling “coronavirus” at them. They added that before Wednesday’s physical confrontation, the offenders told them to “get out” and yelled coronavirus references.
In a statement, the University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell slammed the attack as a “disgrace” and urged anyone with information about the offenders to contact the police.
“This is a disgusting and unprovoked attack on two of our female students,” Maskell said. “There is no place for violence in a modern, future-facing society like Australia. These senseless and vicious attacks on two young women must never be tolerated in our community. The people who did this are a disgrace.”
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp also condemned the incident, stressing that the violence displayed does not reflect the values of the rest of the city.
“I am appalled by the disgraceful attack on two young students from the University of Melbourne this week in the CBD,” she said.
“Melbourne is a caring and inclusive city that welcomes people from all over the world to live and study here. Our diversity is one of the great strengths of our community and violence, abuse or harassment will not be tolerated.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to stick together and lend a hand to those who need it.”
NextShark has reached out to a woman on Facebook claiming to be a friend of the students in Australia and will update this article when we receive further details about the attack.