An American woman of Indian origin was racially abused and physically attacked in the Testaccio area of Rome at around 02.00 on the night between Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.
The 30-year old American citizen had been on her way home after a night out with her female Italian friend when she stopped to watch a group of male and female youths dancing on the street. Her gaze was met with racist taunts over the colour of her skin before she was grabbed by the hair and punched in the face by two girls, to shouts of "Vattene Banglaindia."
A bouncer working nearby intervened, allowing the American woman and her friend to take refuge inside his bar. When the pair went back outside ten minutes later, the same assailants ran towards them, shouting racial abuse at the American woman and trying to attack her a second time, but were stopped again by the bouncer.
After being treated in hospital, the victim remained in a state of shock for three days before reporting the incident to police. She has worked in Rome for the last few months and speaks Italian. "I could not believe it – the victim told La Repubblica newspaper – I have never had problems in Italy. That group who danced in the street gave me a sense of joy and freedom. Never would I have thought of violence over the different colour of my skin."