Tasmanian Police are investigating after two young female punters were reportedly sexually assaulted at Falls Festival‘s Marion Bay leg.
The first woman, aged 19, claims she was assaulted by an ‘unknown male’ in the main stage mosh pit while watching The Jungle Giants‘ set at around 9.30pm on Friday night.
The cops are appealing for witnesses to come forward, particularly two women who helped the victim leave the mosh pit after she was attacked.
Addressing the incident on Facebook, police said: “The key message here is that although the mosh pit itself is designed for close contact, any form of touching without the other person’s consent is not OK”.
Meanwhile, a second young woman has also come forward, alleging that she was sexually assaulted in the Marion Bay festival’s camping area on Saturday night.
“The young female victim was provided with support however decided she did not wish for police to formally investigate the matter,” authorities say. “Although ultimately her choice, elements of the incident will still be followed up by investigators.”
Both police and Falls organisers have condemned the behaviour in a joint statement “urging those joining the mosh pit to stay with friends and if you become isolated or feel unsafe at any time to seek assistance from the nearest Police Officer or Event Security”.
“We want patrons to feel safe and enjoy the event so we urge anyone witnessing this kind behaviour to report it immediately”, their statement reads.
“Although it is disappointing these incidents are taking place, police are encouraged by those who have been affected in coming forward with information about this behaviour.
“The key messages remain the same – sexual assault including touching without consent is a serious matter.”
The incidents come after last year’s Falls Fest was marred by a number of reported sexual assaults, including an alleged rape in the Marion Bay camping area.
This year, stickers reading “enjoy the festival, don’t assault anyone” have been handed out around the festival grounds.
Hopefully that message starts to get through.
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