8 Aug, 2021
A crowd of nearly 60 gathered on the corner of a local road at midday today, motivated to show support for a survivor of a recent unprovoked violent assault.
While sitting in her car outside Wood Street’s Pizzeria on Friday night, August 6, ready to drive some people home from an event at the venue, Charlotte Wilson was struck in the head by a large beer bottle which flew through her open car window allegedly purposely thrown by the assailant, leaving her with large cuts, swelling and bruising around her right eye which required 30 stiches ‘right down to the bone’.
When addressing the crowd gathered on the corner of Jack Boyd Drive and Mangawhai Heads Road, Charlotte says she organised the protest as she wanted to make a stand for the community as well as those ‘who have been so traumatised’ by the alleged assailant, they have eventually left Mangawhai.
“I know of him but we’ve never spoken… I’ve personally assisted a number of people who have been affected by this attacker, some of those women have had to barricade themselves in their own homes,” she says. “For the people who have been abused in the past, there hasn’t been enough evidence yet to arrest him but luckily there’s been an arrest of the attacker in my case, who is well-known in the community.”
Charlotte was attended to by St John paramedics who arrived in a few minutes to the scene and escorted her to Whangarei Hospital as police apprehended the assailant; ‘St John and local police were amazing’. The emotional trauma however, left her feeling understandably unsafe to stay in her own home for the remainder of the night.
Police confirmed they were called to ‘a report of a disorder’ in Wood Street, shortly before 9pm on August 6 and a woman was taken to hospital to receive treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
A man was arrested and taken into custody following the incident, and after a thorough assessment by police, he was issued with a summons to appear in North Shore District Court in early September on charges related to assault with a weapon.
The crowd applauded Charlotte and acknowledged her bravery to take a stand.
“That’s a hell of an experience to go through, it takes a lot of courage to stand there and I admire what you’re doing here today as I’m sure everyone here does, good on you.
“We cannot let ourselves be victims, the terror I experienced of nearly losing my eye and the trauma I am experiencing is overwhelming,” Charlotte says. “Thank you all for coming to support not just me but anyone who has been a victim in Mangawhai. I’m so pleased to be here and have you all here… we have such a wonderful community and I’m not leaving.”
Taking a stand against violence in Mangawhai. A large crowd answered the call by attack victim Charlotte Wilson (seated right of sign) – via social media – to help highlight the abuse and intimidating behaviour going on for a number of years in a Mangawhai neighbourhood.