While traveling alone in Dublin, Ireland last month, a Colorado woman was harassed and physically assaulted on the street by a man who tauntingly told her she probably "liked it" because she's an "American."
Yeah, the assailant messed with the wrong girl. Leanna Carr, 26, happens to be a powerlifter and a strength coach, and when she felt threatened by the man, she reacted by punching him right in the kisser.
Carr was catching a bus to Galway when she felt a man grab her rear end "aggressively and intentionally." The assaulter was reportedly laughing "hysterically" when she turned around to see who attacked her. "You're an American, you probably liked it," he whispered to her. That was enough for Carr to clench her fist and punch the man.
"I wasn't really thinking," she told Fox News. "I was angry and in the moment. He wasn't taking me seriously."
"If this had happened in the past, I probably would have just let him get away with it," explained Carr. "But this time, my reaction was to defend myself. So I hit him."
Carr posted a photo of her bruised knuckles to Twitter on April 21, explaining the incident. "While walking down the street in Dublin earlier this week, a man grabbed my butt. He proceeded to laugh hysterically and said 'you’re an American, you probably liked it,'" she captioned the photo. "Apparently traveling solo has made me a better person bc my first reaction was to punch him in the face."
After the punch, the situation become momentarily hostile; the man began cursing at Carr and getting in her face. "For a second, I was worried that it was going to escalate," she recalled.
Thankfully, a couple who witnessed the attack yelled at the man to "keep walking," and that's exactly what he did.
The 26-year-old was widely praised online for defending herself.
"Good form too," one man wrote via Twitter. "Power and precision through first two knuckles. Excellent work."
"Respect all women in the world, they are not toys, that's guy should shame his act," said another Twitter user.
"Disgusted this happened to you. Looks like he got a right fistful! Well deserved I may add," one woman wrote. Another simply adding, "I love you."
"Sister, kick first. Then when he doubles over, hit between the eyes in the upper nose area. Then ask him if he'd treat The BVM that way. If he says no, repeat," advised another user.
Carr told Fox she was initially "embarrassed" that the post was so widely shared, as she does not advocate for violence as the first response to an altercation, though she noted that she did feel she was in danger.
"This type of street harassment is normalized and happens far too often. So many women don't know how to respond or don't feel confident enough sticking up for themselves," she said. "I don't think that violence is the answer, but I also think it's important for women to realize that they're not objects and they don't deserve to be treated this way."
"I'm no 'hero' for punching the guy, I was simply defending myself. I don't think that my reaction should be glorified," Carr added. "This happens to women every single day. I hope my role in this whole situation can be as a voice for those who didn't have one."