Target of random assault in Flora Hill fights back at “victim shaming”

Brittany Rogers says women should not be made to feel at fault when they are assaulted.
Brittany Rogers says women should not be made to feel at fault when they are assaulted.

A BENDIGO woman who was violently assaulted in Flora Hill earlier this month says she hates the way women are often made to feel at fault when they are attacked.

And now she’s fighting back against the “victim shaming” she personally experienced.

Brittany Rogers, 18, had spent a Wednesday night at a onesie party at Universal nightclub in the Bendigo CBD, before going to the gym with friends afterwards.

It was 4am when she decided to finish her night with a jog home from Strath Village shopping centre, up Edwards Road, and onto Ellis Street in Flora Hill.

Then a man approached her in front of the La Trobe University campus, asking for a cigarette. She replied that she had none.

“He proceeded to get in my face and abuse me using profane language,” Brittany said.

“I told him to get out of my way, which he wouldn’t, so I went around him and as I was leaving he grabbed my arm and swung me around to face him.

“We struggled briefly until I yanked my arm free and shoved him, so he shoved me back and I fell off the sidewalk into the gutter.”

Brittany was then kicked multiple times to the face before she got back to her feet and, using her boxing skills gained from the Vinton Street gym, punched the man to the face and ran away.

Brittany suffered lacerations and bruising to her face, which was left bloodied after the attack.

The matter was reported to police, who are investigating. The attacker remains unknown.

Brittany said her boxing training taught her confidence, “to expect the unexpected and how to take a hit”.

The incident left her shaken though, and when some questioned her outfit or the time of day, it took on a whole new meaning.

She said the victim should never be made to feel like they are to blame for an assault.

“I hate the idea of victim shaming,” Brittany said.

“I hate that another person could say this attack was brought on because of something I wore, or the time I went out, or anything along those lines.

“Nothing you wear, say or do should be an indicator you’re permitting assault.

“How do I not have the right to feel safe doing my own thing, not bothering or confronting other people?

“I will continue to go for my early morning jogs and hopefully from this point forward people will start to realise you can’t always push around the smaller girls who seem targetable.”

If you have any information about the attack, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.