An Auckland mother is calling on her community to rally together to stop acts of violence after a group of teenage girls were allegedly assaulted at Glenfield Mall, with bystanders failing to intervene.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims the young girls were publicly attacked by an older teenager at the mall on Friday - but fellow shoppers failed to step in and help.
In an impassioned plea to a Facebook group over the weekend, the woman - who says the girls are friends of her young daughter - urged locals to stop turning a blind eye to violence in the North Shore community.
In the post, the woman said the group of 15-year-olds were targeted by an older girl, believed to be aged between 16 and 18, with long dark hair, false eyelashes and long, fake nails.
"She demanded one of my daughter's friends hand over her phone, [she] tried to snatch it and told her to unlock it. When she refused, the girl proceeded to slap her repeatedly and yank her hair while hurling abuse at all of them," the woman claimed.
The woman says the police and the mall's security team have been notified of the attack.
In a statement to Newshub, a spokesperson confirmed that police received a complaint in relation to the incident.
"Police received a complaint relating to an incident at Glenfield Mall on Friday afternoon, where two females reported being harassed both verbally and physically by an unknown female," the spokesperson said.
"Police are looking into this complaint and will be making follow up enquiries."
A spokesperson for Glenfield Mall said the centre's management is "well aware" of the incident.
"After being dealt with by our management and security all relevant information has been provided to the Police," they said.
'No one spoke up or intervened'
The most shocking thing about the alleged assault was that no one stepped in to help the girls, the woman said - despite it taking place in front of a crowded escalator and food court.
"No one spoke up or intervened, including staff of different food stores. Why does no one... intervene when witnessing innocent kids being attacked like this?" she said.
"My biggest concern is that as a community we are letting this kind of behaviour happen… surely we can all have each other's backs and defend people if we see this kind of thing happening."
The woman said she is "disgusted" by the incident and hopes that in future, people will think twice before turning a blind eye.
"Please everyone, start caring and helping each other… I've seen too many posts lately about these kinds of events and it's depressing. Let's band together people."
The post quickly garnered attention from other locals, with many expressing outrage or pitching in similar stories. One mum claimed her daughter was assaulted while shopping at nearby Birkenhead Mall, while another offered to chaperone the girls if they felt too uncomfortable to go back to the shopping centre.
Some suggested taking pictures or videos of the incident to show to authorities rather than risking involvement in an attack. Others advised that people in distress should yell out for help to draw greater attention to the incident and make it evident they need assistance.
In February, a man was hospitalised with critical injuries after he was attacked while walking on Glenfield's Manuka Road.