A Melbourne woman who fought off an attacker has an inspiring message for others.

Don’t mess with a property manager…

A 31-year-old Melbourne woman who was left with a broken nose after being attacked while walking her dog says she managed to fight off her attacker because of self-defence classes.

Mia: “It’s no longer possible to find reasons why any of these women couldn’t be us.”

Clare Verrall was out walking her bulldog “Dutchy” near her home in Windsor on Wednesday evening when a man jumped out from the rubbish bin holding area of an apartment block and grabbed her.

According to the police report, he then pinned her against the wall and punched her in the face and threatened her.

Varrell shared her story on her Facebook page, sporting a painful-looking black eye and broken nose. Thankfully her injuries were not worse.

“They can try to beat you, they can try to intimidate you and they can try to make you feel like your are nothing, but women, we are all something and we can all fight back. We have that capability in us and that’s what I did,” she said in the video which has now had almost a million views.

She said she had been “blessed” to have done kick boxing classes at her local gym and self defence classes, which equipped her with the skills to fight off her assailant and recommended that others do the same.

“I got a way and I got out of that situation and the reason I could get out of that situation was because I had gone and done self-defence training before and I’d done kick boxing before.


“If I hadn’t I don’t know where I would be now. I imagine it would a lot worse than a broken nose.”

Varrell told Mamamia she had undergone the training as a precaution because of her work as a property manager, which means she is often alone in unfamiliar houses with strangers — she also runs training sessions for other young women in the industry.

She said she decided to share the video on the spur of the moment and had been overwhelmed by the response it had received.

Varrell is an advocate for self-defence, but made it clear that the onus should not be on women to protect themselves.

“I’m really conflicted about it,” she said. “I agree that we should be able to walk around the streets and be safe, but that’s just not the reality of the world that we live in.

“I think I should be able to walk down the street with my headphones in. I feel like I should be allowed to do that and at the same I can’t. It annoys me that that’s just the truth of the world.”

Victoria Police are now searching for the man described as “caucasian, aged in his late 20s, approximately 180cm tall with a slim build.” He was wearing jeans and a black hoodie at the time of the attack.

A police spokesperson confirmed that they haven’t got any leads on the suspect.

Victoria Police are still looking for the man who attacked Clare.


Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

    00:00 / ???