A transgender musician was brutally attacked at an inner-west pub in Sydney on Friday 5 June, calling the live music venue out for failing to protect her despite continued pleas for help.

Stephanie McCarthy, a bassist for local group Love Maul, was bashed by five men at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown as she waited to perform with her band, as Fairfax reports.

McCarthy explained the situation to Fairfax, noting that she had been taunted by the men both verbally and physically, “four or five of them following me around, yelling ‘faggot’ at me” she said, “one of them kept deliberately bumping into me. I had my ponytail pulled a couple of times.”

In what she claims was an unprovoked attack, McCarthy confronted one of the assailants who had pulled her hair, only to have her shirt grabbed as the other men advanced on her, threatening to stab her before being struck to the head, “I was told that, by the end of it, I had one guy holding my head right down low while the other was repeatedly punching me in the face,” she said.

Completely shocked by the horrific incident, the bassist went on to accuse the Town Hall staff of failing to prevent such an incident from taking place, alleging that both she and her friends notified staff that she was being harassed by these men, yet they did not remove them from the venue.

“They just kept serving them, they didn’t throw them out. Even my friends were saying ‘These guys are going to do something to Steph if you don’t do anything about it’, ” she detailed, “Everyone saw it coming and they did nothing, and when it did happen, they did everything they could to get them out of there before the police arrived.”

Not only that, but a bystander commented that he overheard a member of staff saying that they knew the attackers, McCarthy going on to claim that she heard security tell them “get out of here before the police arrive.”

The Town Hall Hotel have taken to Facebook to defend both their establishment and their staff, writing that they were “stunned and upset by what happened and dealt with the aftermath as best they could, we have CCTV footage and want to see justice served for the victim, we are doing what we can to help the police with their enquiries,” read the post.

As the guys at Music Feeds report, there’s been a mass amount of support for McCarthy, many protesting against violence and transphobia outside the Hotel Monday night, McCarthy taking positivity from the incident, “From such a horrible incident and such horrible violence, to see this amount of people in our community come up and stand up and say ‘enough’, it’s really really special.”

Police are investigating the attack further, stating that the CCTV footage is “not great”, urging any witnesses to come forward.

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