Phuong Anh posted this photograph of herself on Facebook moments after she said she was assaulted for wearing a face mask. Photo Amber Mai Facebook page
HÀ NỘI — A Vietnamese woman living in Australia has claimed her and her brother were attacked on a train because they were both wearing face masks.
Phuong Anh, who also uses the name Amber Mai, said during the attack no one else on the train tried to help.
She claims she was verbally assaulted and had a drink thrown on her before the man tried to punch her.
Phuong Anh wrote on Facebook: “Today on the train, me and my brother got assaulted for wearing a mask. The guy verbally assaulted us, then threw drink on us, and physically tried to hit me after the argument. We got told to go back to our country. And this is not the first time I experienced this.”
Since she took to social media to reveal the incident, her post has been shared more than 3,000 times and she has been inundated with messages of support.
She wrote: “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. He has only arrived to Australia 4 months ago, and this is what he got to experience. I feel ashamed.”
Phuong Anh, who is originally from Hà Nội, said the matter is being investigated by police in Australia.
She added: “The saddest part was that despite our effort to hold the guy from leaving the train station, no one stepped up. I guess people might have wanted to help, but seems like it was not serious enough/ they were not sure what was going on.
“I did argue with him and that’s why he got mad and started pouring the drink on us. My brother was scared, he could only stop the guy from hitting me. I managed to kick and pushed him but well, I am small and he is big ?!
“We called emergency help on the train and the driver responded but only looked from distance and came to us after the guy was gone. However, I thank him to at least contacted someone, and the police has been very understanding and took this serious.”
Many people have since commented on her post offering support.
One Facebook user wrote: “My darling I am so sorry this happened to you. I wish I was there I would have stood up. This is not acceptable for anyone. Reach out to me if you need anything.”
Another added: “No one deserves this, EVER! Glad you’re both safe and sending love your way. That man carries a culture that majority of Australia doesn’t support. Know that you are both 100% welcome here!”
While a third social media user wrote: “This is definitely not okay. I’m sorry you both had to go through that ordeal. Please know that it is only a minority who behave in such a shameful way. Karma will come for them.”
By Thursday afternoon, Australia has recorded a total 687 confirmed cases of COVID-19, almost 10 times the amount currently confirmed in Việt Nam. — VNS