Bashed but not beaten – brave country queen tells of harrowing attack

ONE of Tamworth’s most beloved performers has spoken of the terrifying moment she was struck down and robbed on Sunday night.
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WON’T KEEP HER DOWN: Wanita recovers at home after being assaulted in Tamworth at the weekend. Photo: Barry Smith 230914BSF02

Wanita, Australia’s queen of honky tonk, was taken to hospital after being struck on the back of the head as she walked down Bligh St at 9.30pm.

She had accepted a lift from a stranger after a night out at the South Tamworth Bowling Club, but was alarmed to find she had been dropped off at the wrong place. Wanita, whose full name is Wanita Bahtiyar, rang her husband and a close friend as she made her way briskly towards well-lit Peel St.

“Within minutes I felt a ‘bang’ on the back of my head,” she said.

The perpetrator grabbed at her handbag, but she clasped her phone tightly and was stuck again.

“I hit the concrete with a thud and possibly lost consciousness,” she said.

Wanita was left with a nasty gash on her elbow, stitches, grazes, bruises and a mild concussion.

“Today I’m not made up like the queen of honky tonk – this is unplugged,” she said.

“They won’t keep me down. I’ll be back on my feet to give you something else to talk about before long.”

She said despite coming to the rescue of other victims in the past, she was unable to defend herself in the underhanded attack from behind.

“I didn’t see it coming,” she said.

“At no point during the attack did I feel scared. I thought: ‘They’ve hit me but they haven’t got a hold of me.’”

She urged locals to be careful on Tamworth’s streets and not to take lifts from strangers.

“Don’t put yourself in asituation where you could be attacked. I’ve always thought that no one is exempt fromillness or atrocity – anyone could be a victim,” she said.

Close friend CarolyneMorris waited with Wanita slumped across the back seat of her car until the ambulance arrived.

“Society has double standards. She was defenceless, she wasn’t doing anything to invite the attack,” Ms Morris said.

“There’s no excuse forviolence.”

In true Wanita style, she was soon up to her old tricks, coyly joking with the “spunky young doctor” who pricked her with a needle at thehospital.

Having amassed a number of friends at the hospital, one suggested Wanita should “call up a few more, bring a couple of bottles of champers and hold a party in outpatients”.

Wanita said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the whole community.

So how long before Wanita starts singing and strumming her guitar for Tamworth audiences again?

“I reckon by tomorrow I’ll be right,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.