Drunken man sexually harassed and then attacked them on Hverfisgata
Two women were first harassed and then assaulted in downtown Reykjavík in the early hours of Saturday 30th August.
A man started accosting them in Hverfisgata, outside Bar 11, at about 4.45am, in both Icelandic and English. When his drunken advances failed, he started following and aggressively coming on to the two, resulting in him being slapped. He then attacked both women, hospitalizing one with facial cuts and two black eyes.
One of the women was artist Rosalie Smith, who was on her last night in Iceland and has now returned to the United States. She has sent out a public appeal for witnesses.
Rosalie’s account of what happened is thus:
“Last night I was assaulted by a drunk man while walking down the street in Reykjavik. I am very sad to write this because I have loved being in Iceland over the past two months, and I don’t want this experience to taint my memories of this country. My friend and I were walking past a bar, and a man jumped in front of us and began to try to talk us into having sex with him (in both English and Icelandic)-this kind of street harassment is unfortunately not an unusual experience at night in any city. My friend tried to get him to leave, but was quickly fed up and slapped him. He then slapped her so hard her contact lens fell out. I was upset by this so I also slapped him-in retrospect I wish I had not used any violence when addressing him. He then shouted “I don’t care what gender you are” and sucker punched me in the center of my face-giving me a black eye, a cut, and a potentially broken nose. I collapsed almost immediately and what I can describe as nothing less than a waterfall of blood began pouring from my nose. The rest of my night was a blur-I was lucky to be with a friend (the lovely Linda) who took me to the hospital and called the police. This assault has enlightened me to some of the major pitfalls of humanity-here I am in what is often called “the best country in the world for women,” a notoriously non-violent society, getting beaten up on a sidewalk. If nothing else, I hope that people will read this and realize that instances like this are the reason that street harassment is scary to women-what happened to me could have been much, much worse and I am grateful for the support I have gotten from my friends here in Iceland.”
If you have any information on this brutal incident, or witnessed it, please post it in the comments below, and we’ll make sure it gets into the relevant hands.