IT’S 9.30pm on a Sunday in North Tamworth. A woman walks alone down a suburban street as nearby residents soak up the lingering last moments of the weekend in their lounge rooms.
Suddenly, a shadowy figure emerges from behind the woman and swings a fist wildly at her head.
She collapses to the ground while the thief reefs at her handbag and scurries back into the darkness.
It’s another indiscriminate crime of opportunity in a city becoming inured to such attacks.
The real tragedy isn’t that this woman was Wanita, Australia’s Honky Tonk Queen and one of Tamworth’s most beloved performers, it’s that it could have been any of us.
Wanita has crafted a career out of being a provocateur; an artist whoflouts political correctness and is in equal parts coarse, confident and charismatic.
Her charitable heart is every bit as legendary as her imposing stage presence.
But the Wanita that greetedThe Northern Daily Leader journalist yesterday was a different woman, the swagger replaced by a look of sullen fear.
Her wounds – seven stitches in her elbow and a splotchy bruise on her head – will heal fast enough.
The ongoing trauma of being attacked will remain with her far longer.
Such a random assault can leave psychological lesions on a victim for years.
True to type though, Wanita was keen to put her issues to the side and use her experience as a warning to others.
Her message is clear: don’t walk alone at night, regardless of how safe you feel.
Know your neighbourhood, trust your gut, report any suspicious behaviour to police.
That we must take such precautionsin our own backyard is a sad indictment on the reality of modern life in Tamworth.
But it’s a reality nevertheless.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.