A woman who was filmed attacking a man for groping her at a music festival has spoken out saying women should be able to walk around topless without consequence.
Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, 20, was wearing a sprinkling of glitter covering her exposed breasts and a tiny skirt when she was groped by a fellow reveller at the Rhythm & Vines festival in Gisborne, New Zealand.
The American-born woman was filmed walking next to her friend Kiri-Ann Hatfield when a man crept behind her and groped her breast – which led to the pair marching up behind him and launching their own counter attack.
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Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, 20, (pictured right with her friend Katie Ashworth) was wearing a sprinkling of glitter on her breasts and a tiny skirt
The American-born woman, pictured right with boyfriend Max Ashworth, was filmed walking next to her friend Kiri-Ann Hatfield when a man crept behind her and groped her breast
The astonishing clip, taken by Giann Reece, shows the pair turn in unison and follow the man back to his perch on the grass before throwing a drink in his face and punching him repeatedly.
Footage of Ms Annello-Kitzmiller’s revenge attack went viral and she has since defended both her controversial revealing outfit and her reprisal attack.
‘I stand by my actions and hope that I’ve inspired women to feel comfortable in their bodies, no matter how they look, and to stick up for themselves when anybody says otherwise or tries to deny you the right to protect your own body,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He grabbed my breast. I hit him. There was a lot of built up anger coming from harassment throughout the day. This happens everywhere, not just New Zealand.’
The Auckland-based woman said she and her boyfriend’s sister Katie Ashworth had their chests painted at a stall and were disgusted that people thought their outfits were an invitation for abuse.
Footage of Ms Annello-Kitzmiller’s (left) revenge assault went viral and she has since defended her controversial glittery outfit and the ensuing attack
She was walking next to her friend Kiri-Ann Hatfield (pictured) when a man crept behind her and groped her breast
Even while wearing a sheer t-shirt the previous day she said she was abused by both male and even female festival attendees.
Despite the groping incident, Ms Annello-Kitzmiller did not cover up her breasts and continued to enjoy the New Year’s Eve event until 6am on January 1.
‘In the end, we are all born naked, and each human is uniquely similar to the next in that we all have a naked body. You don’t look at yourself in the shower and say ‘ew, disgusting’ right?’ she said.
‘So why should anybody say that to anybody else? A humans body is their own, and nobody has a right to touch you without your consent, regardless of what they’re wearing or the lack thereof.’
Revellers at the Rhythm and Vines festival in Gisborne, on New Zealand’s North Island, watched on as a male attendee (pictured left and right in blue) crept behind and groped a woman (left and right) wearing only glitter on her breasts
Comments like ‘she way asking for it’ are promoting rape culture in that people see that and hear justification and violating a humans respect and right to feel safe in their own skin.’
Ms Annelle-Kitzmiller also said she has been groped in the past even without wearing a skin-baring outfit.
‘Regardless, a couple months ago I was groped in the same way while I was fully clothed so the argument is a moot point anyway.’
The woman’s boyfriend Max Ashworth defended her decision to slap her attacker – telling commenters on Facebook he was ‘proud’ of his partner.
‘What the f*** happened to treating people with love and respect? I’m so disappointed that people are still so ignorant here,’ he said.
Footage of the incident was shared online and has since garnered thousands of views and a divided opinion on who was in the wrong (Pictured is a shot of the music festival)
The incident was filmed at New Year’s Eve music festival Rhythm & Vines (revellers at the festival pictured)
‘Madeline you are a bad ass and I’m so proud of you for sticking up for yourself, you are an inspiration to so many people, keep doing what you do.
‘P.S she didn’t let that ruin our night we literally danced til sunrise and had the best night ever despite everything.’
The now-deleted footage was was shared online and garnered thousands of views and a divided opinion on Ms Annello-Kitzmiller’s outfit.
‘Well that’s what she gets when she wears something like that,’ one man wrote.
‘Well… when you are walking around naked you’re kinda throwing out a kinda vibe to sort of expect that,’ another man said.
The iconic New Year’s Eve Rhythm and Vines festival saw some 20,000 people descend on Waiohika Estate for the three-day event (Pictured are attendees)
The vast majority of support for the topless women came from female commenters.
‘Don’t get how this is any different to groping a girl in a bikini at the beach- still wrong,’ one woman said.
‘Good on her! No one has the right to touch you without consent! Naked or not! Learn some manners.’
The iconic New Year’s Eve Rhythm and Vines festival saw some 20,000 people descend on Waiohika Estate for the three-day event.
Even New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made an appearance at the sold-out camping festival.