In a bizarre chain of events, a 21-year-old tourist from Finland who was visiting Christchurch [NZ] earlier today (January 27) was suddenly beaten severely in a central Christchurch mall. The incident occurred at lunch-time at the South City Centre food court.
After delivering the beating, the assailant unfortunately escaped before police could arrive, although police will examine surveillance camera footage in an effort to identify the assailant.
COMMENT: Reportedly, the assailant punched the tourist in the head repeatedly, as many as 10-15 times, requiring that the victim be transported to Christchurch Hospital, where he required six stitches to his upper lip.
Considering the number of times that the victim sustained direct hits, it is amazing that he was not injured more seriously. Incidentally, this is a great time to mention that all foreign travelers should sign up for international medical treatment and evacuation coverage before they leave home, for hospital visits such as the one described above.
Although the robbery of tourists in New Zealand occurs reasonably frequently, as it does it in most countries, it is very strange for such an attack to occur without provocation.
From all indications, it appears that the victim in this case was surprised by the sudden and unprovoked nature of the attack and simply did not believe that he had been singled out by a local harboring such hostility and anger.
As I have mentioned in many of my postings in cases of assault and robbery, traveling abroad can pose risks we've never dreamed of. Consequently, it is essential that we be personally prepared for all emergency situations, however unforeseeable they may be.
For travelers who have never been trained in self-defense, particularly in our increasingly uncertain and violent world, it is not a bad idea to take some training from a certified self-defense instructor. In so doing, through hands-on training and practice, you can quickly learn the necessary skills to help you protect yourself and enable you to respond instinctively to a physical attack. Such training will build confidence in both men and women alike.