'Badass' tourist punched a man in the face for sexually harassing her in Ireland

(Photo: @leanna_carr/Instagram)
(Photo: @leanna_carr/Instagram)

A woman traveling solo for the first time through Europe was groped while in Ireland — but the bodybuilder knew just what to do.

While Leanna Carr was walking from her hostel to a nearby hostel in Dublin, she felt someone come up behind her and grab her backside.

Last week while I was in Ireland, I experienced something that happens far too often. While walking down a busy street alone, I was inappropriately groped & mocked by a complete stranger. . I’m not a violent person & anyone who knows me knows that. It was a situation where I felt vulnerable, threatened, & real f*cking angry. I reacted emotionally (by punching him). Not sure this was the appropriate reaction to have, but it felt right & I’m fortunate it didn’t escalate. . A couple of days after I allowed my emotions about the situation to subside, I tweeted about it in a light hearted & joking manner. Overnight, the tweet went viral & it ended up on multiple news stories, radio shows, websites all over the world. This was completely unexpected and a little embarrassing tbh. I’d rather be internationally recognized for my passions, my brain, or my impact, not bc I punched a dude who grabbed my butt Even though many have joked about me being a hero or badass (lol I’ll take it) those closest to me know how shaken and distraught I was when it first happened. . Since then, I’ve had hundreds of women come forward through personal messages, sharing their own experiences of when they were sexually harassed or assaulted while traveling. From cat calls, lewd comments, being followed, being groped, getting flashed, etc. . This has nothing to do with how I look, what I wear, or where I am. These types of things happen every single day due to a problematic & deep rooted mindset of disrespect and superiority. A woman should feel free to travel and explore without experiencing the fear of violence or harassment. . I hope this blows over soon. Praise or attention was the last thing on my mind when I decided to defend myself. I’m stronger than most but that doesn’t mean it didn’t leave an impact, emotionally. I figured these 5 seconds of fame would be a good opportunity to bring awareness to Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I feel this happens far too often & most victims just keep it to themselves. I’d love to open dialogue for any women (or men) who have dealt with similar situations below. What happened & how did you respond? How would you respond in this situation? #metoo

A post shared by Leanna Carr (@leanna_carr) on Apr 24, 2018 at 5:33pm PDT


“He proceeded to laugh hysterically and said ‘you’re an American, you probably liked it,'” she shared of the experience on social media. Her first reaction? To punch him in the face — and the photo of her swollen red knuckles are proof.

“I’m not a violent person & anyone who knows me knows that,” Carr, who’s a strength coach and powerlifter, shared on Instagram. “It was a situation where I felt vulnerable, threatened, & real f***ing angry. I reacted emotionally (by punching him). Not sure this was the appropriate reaction to have, but it felt right & I’m fortunate it didn’t escalate.”


Since sharing her experience, her story has gotten a lot of attention. Many expressed their support of her reaction towards the man with one person writing, “I’m so sorry that happened to you, and especially sorry it happened to you in my home town.” Another added, “As a fellow solo travler, YAAAAAS GIRL.”

In addition to the media attention and comments, Carr has also received personal messages from hundreds of women “sharing their own experiences of when they were sexually harassed or assaulted while traveling. From cat calls, lewd comments, being followed, being groped, getting flashed, etc.” She continued, “This has nothing to do with how I look, what I wear, or where I am. These types of things happen every single day due to a problematic & deep rooted mindset of disrespect and superiority. A woman should feel free to travel and explore without experiencing the fear of violence or harassment.”

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