An open letter to my 'hideous' Noosa beach bullies
A SUNSHINE Coast woman is still in shock over the 'disgusting' verbal abuse she received at a Noosa beach for telling a family their car was parked on protected sand dunes.
Eumundi resident Katie Johnston, 32, said she and a friend were at the beach on Friday when they came across an elderly pair walking their dog in a prohibited area.
Ms Johnston said they mentioned to the couple the area was protected, but the section of beach that allowed dogs was not far away.
She said the elderly couple had also parked their car on sand dunes, protected for turtle hatchings.
"It was just a friendly word of warning," Ms Johnston said.
"We just took an educational approach because a lot of people don't actually realise that the dunes are protected or that there are certain areas where dogs aren't allowed.
"They were very dismissive. It was pretty shocking actually, they came across as very arrogant and said 'they didn't give a f---'."
Ms Johnston and her friend left the couple and went down to the beach, but soon ran into them again, accompanied by a younger woman in her 30s, a man and two children.
"It looked like two grandparents, a husband and wife and their children...the kids were between three and five probably," Ms Johnston said.
"We had to walk past them and we were in our bathers. I was a little bit behind Jasmine because I kept stopping to take photographs. You could tell they were talking among themselves...then they just started hurling abuse at us."
Ms Johnston said it was the woman, who she assumed was the mother of the children, that dished out the worst of it.
"It was hideous, absolutely disgusting," she said.
"It's like they knew they were wrong but had no argument so they started picking on our physical appearances because we aren't size sixes.
"One thing that was particularly nasty and something I had never heard before was 'get your hail-damaged arses out of here'. They said that in front of their children."
Ms Johnston tried to ignore the abuse, something she is "used to doing".
She said 10 years ago she was sexually abused and moved from Western Australia to Queensland.
"When I was 21 years old, I was raped...I have had to undergo years of counselling.
"When you have an experience like that, you take it one way or the other; some days I think I am taking it one way, that I am managing it.
"Other days, I don't...One night I was lured into a situation I couldn't get out of, now I have dealt with that but my self-worth is easily triggered."
Ms Johnston penned an open letter to the family.
"On the beach today when you were left with no valid argument and you started attacking our physical appearance in front of your children, parents and husband (who looked very embarrassed), my heart broke. Of course, it triggered my own past hurt but to think you're passing that behaviour onto your children, well that was hideous.
"Children soak up everything around them, they learn how to navigate the world from you. They learn the worth of others through your eyes.
"What if your daughter had the same story as me and someone like you did that to her?"