On the second day of a three-week solo trip to Dublin, Ireland, Leanna Carr was walking to a bus stop when a man groped her from behind. The 26-year-old from Fort Collins, Colorado, did the first thing that came to mind — she punched her harasser in the face. The incident, posted on social media, became a viral tweet that took the Internet by storm over the weekend.
"While walking down the street in Dublin earlier this week, a man grabbed my butt," Carr wrote on Twitter alongside photos of her knuckles, red from the impact. "He proceeded to laugh hysterically and said 'you’re an American, you probably liked it'. Apparently traveling solo has made me a better person bc my first reaction was to punch him in the face."
The viral tweet received over 22K likes since Carr posted it on Saturday:
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”. Apparently traveling solo has made me a better person bc my first reaction was to punch him in the face 😳 pic.twitter.com/qJ82a3iimI— Leanna Carr (@Leanna_Carr) April 21, 2018
"I am never a violent person, and I have never punched anyone before," Carr told the Irish Independent, "but I became so angry and had so much adrenaline that my reaction was to punch him. I got him on the cheek bone, hard."
Carr explained what happened next: "I started yelling a couple more things to him like 'don’t ever touch a girl like that again, I could get you arrested'. He became very mad and I thought he was going to hit back."
"But there was an older couple next to us who saw the whole thing and the gentleman told the scumbag to keep walking," she continued. "The man started laughing again and then crossed the street to disappear in the crowd of people."
"I don’t think violence is always the answer, and I did get lucky that the altercation didn’t end up badly for me," Carr, whose Instagram account dubs her a powerlifter and strength coach, admitted. "Going forward, I do think it’s important be trained for self-defense and be a little more cautious of my surroundings, especially while traveling alone. I think he will think twice before he does that again to a woman."
"I do believe that my background in powerlifting helped my confidence with the situation," Carr told Metro in an email, adding that she doesn't think she would have reacted differently if faced with the situation again. "I am stronger than the average girl, so I am confident in my ability to defend myself. But you never know what a person's background is. I am fortunate it ended well. I think he got what he deserved."
"It's sad that women have to worry about dealing with these types of situations... even still," she continued. "SO many women have reached out to me since the tweet went viral, sharing their own stories and experiences. I don't regret acting the way that I did."
Reactions to viral tweet about woman who punched her harasser
In response to Carr’s viral tweet, many users applauded her bravery:
I applaud you 🙌🏻— MissKL (@MissKL200) April 22, 2018
I hope he's learned he can't do that to anyone else
You’re my hero!— Lee (@setXapart) April 21, 2018
And these men offered some valuable advice:
And follow up with a knee— Eoin English (@EoinBearla) April 23, 2018