EXCLUSIVE: Australian Woman Left Disabled Following Attack By Trans Activist

Content Notice: This article contains photos of bruising and physical injury. Reader discretion is appreciated.

A woman in Melbourne, Australia was hospitalized and left with horrific injuries following a brutal attack from a trans activist over what she speculates was retaliation for her gender critical views.

On September 24, 2022, Ruby* and her partner were attending the Punks Pub Crawl, an annual barhopping event for those in the punk rock scene which has been held in Melbourne since 1982. Ruby, a bass guitarist in a local band, had been attending the crawl since she was a teenager. Though she was excited to return to her tradition following the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, Ruby’s evening turned into a nightmare.

“I had only just arrived with my partner sometime around 3 p.m. There were about 70 people or so attending the crawl. The whole group of us stopped at Carlton Gardens for a group photo,” Ruby recounts, explaining that immediately after the photo was taken she would have an incident that has since left her with a debilitating injury.


“I was walking away, talking to a friend when I noticed one male walking beside the group but in the opposite direction to the rest of us,” Ruby says. “As he passed me he shoulder-barged me hard, and I stopped to address him.”

Ruby describes her attacker as “male, but not obviously ‘trans.’” As she was with a group of individuals belonging to the punk rock community, she didn’t immediately believe he was attempting to present as the opposite sex, and simply thought he was donning classic punk attire.

“He just looked like a metal head with lipstick on, and I had never seen him before in my life,” she says. According to a police report Ruby provided Reduxx, the individual is described as approximately 5’7, with long dark hair. He had been wearing a black shirt and black pants.

Startled by the body check, Ruby confronted the male.

“I said something very close to, ‘Is there a problem here? Do you and I need to have a conversation?’ He started denying and gaslighting. He claimed it was an accident and one of his friends backed him up. It was clearly no accident so I replied, ‘No, he just shoulder-barged me as hard as he could.’”

Ruby says the onlookers immediately seemed to take issue with the pronoun she had used for the man.

“I heard a few murmurs of ‘He?’ Like people were offended at my choice of pronoun,” she says. “I stood facing him for another [few seconds] waiting to see if he was going to kick off, but he seemed to have nothing to say so I turned and walked away.”

But just as she did, Ruby says she was suddenly attacked from behind, with the man pushing her onto the concrete with tremendous force.

“I was wearing a heavy studded leather jacket so I went down hard and fast. I put my left arm out to break the fall with anything other than my head and the impact reverberated all up my arm, shattering my shoulder and breaking my arm at the joint.”

Ruby says other pub crawl goers told the man to back off, and she says that while she was in extreme pain, she didn’t immediately recognize the extent of the damage. A friend of hers who knew first-aid put her in a makeshift sling, and it quickly became obvious to Ruby that she needed to seek medical treatment.

She first attempted to go to a public hospital, but was left in the emergency waiting room for agonizing hours without proper attention, so she left and later sought help at Austin Hospital, which is reputed for its trauma care. Ruby was sent for a CAT scan and X-Ray where she was diagnosed with a fractured shoulder.

Ruby provided Reduxx medical records from Austin Health showing she was admitted to the emergency short stay unit, and that she was initially slated for a surgical intervention by an orthopedic registrar.

A second orthopedic surgeon Ruby saw while in hospital decided not to operate, feeling her outcomes would be better if she were simply closely monitored and sent for physiotherapy after the initial injury had healed. The surgeon left the possibility of operation open if anything were to come up with the injury in the future.

A record from Austin Hospital provided to Reduxx.

In the chaos of her attempts to get medical treatment, Ruby had managed to track down the individual who had assaulted her through a band contact. She recognized her assailant had been friends with an individual who her band had performed with in the past, and skimmed his socials to find more information. She managed to identify the attacker, and, armed with the information, went to Melbourne Police and filed a report after being discharged from hospital.

Ruby supplied Reduxx with the statement she signed and witnessed with a Constable about her ordeal. In the statement, she names Sarah Cadzow, a male who identifies as a “woman,” as being her assailant.

She speculates that their mutual band contact had alerted Cadzow to her views on gender ideology at the Punks Pub Crawl, and that he had body-checked her in retaliation.

“It became clear that someone had been showing the attacker my Facebook posts. The attacker had never been on my Facebook friends list, as far as I know, but his friend was. My Facebook has been all about women’s rights and spaces for about 4 years now, since I found out about men in women’s prisons,” Ruby says. “We messaged the friend shortly afterwards and he helpfully agreed in writing as to what happened, but attempted to justify it because apparently [Cadzow] was ‘defending his community’ by attacking a middle aged woman from behind.”

In his youth, Cadzow had been associated with LGBTQ youth charity Minus18.

Sarah Cadzow, farthest right, in an advertisement for Minus18’s line of anti-transphobia merch.

Cadzow was listed as a development team member of the Trans 101 project, a “gender diversity crash course” aimed at youth supported by Minus18, YGender, and the Sydney Myer Fund. He also penned a biography for the Rainbow Story Project, praising Minus18 and boasting about the fact he transitioned when he was approximately 14 years old.

Despite having provided Melbourne Police with two witness statements as well as the identity of her attacker, Ruby explains that it took months for Cadzow to finally be charged in a process that initially left her feeling abandoned.

“I can’t speak for police resources or procedures, but it was very concerning to me that it took so long to charge him. They seemed to be handling the assailant very delicately,” she says. “I wanted there to be some immediate disincentive for him to do this again – to me or anyone else – and the police didn’t seem to take that concern seriously at all.”

Ruby says she observed a definite “tone shift” when police learned her assailant was transgender.

“The delay in charging and the manner in which they went about it certainly felt to me like a reluctance to act. This was very serious violence and all I could think about during that waiting time was ‘Where are the consequences? What’s stopping him doing it again? What happens if he sees a woman in an Adult Human Female t-shirt?'”

On January 25, almost exactly four months after the incident, Cadzow was finally handed charges related to Ruby’s assault. He is currently scheduled for a hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on April 14.

One of the most recent public posts on Cadzow’s Facebook.

While Ruby expresses some relief that Cadzow has now been charged and the legal component of her ordeal is moving after months of stagnation, she has been left with the lingering impact of her attack.

“I play bass guitar, and at first we weren’t sure if I was going to be able to play gigs anymore. Fortunately, it’s looking like I will be able to, just not too often and it hurts like a bastard to tune up,” she says, explaining that her impacted arm can no longer be lifted above the shoulder

“I will never swim again, [or] shoot hoops with my son, get things from high shelves, or hang washing. The doctor said: ‘your ability to lift that arm above your head ended when you hit the ground.'”

In relation to Cadzow’s upcoming hearing, Ruby says she hopes the consequences for Cadzow are serious enough to act as a deterrent.

“I hope others who may have similar ideas realize that you simply can’t just go around attacking women with impunity.”

But even then, Ruby explains that she has concerns about how the case will be handled by Australia’s criminal justice system, which has become notorious for its position on gender self-identification.

“This was a clear-cut act of male violence but I have my doubts as to whether statistics or records will reflect that in the end,” she says.

“It’s getting very scary to be a woman speaking up about women’s rights these days. This kind of violence is going way, way too far and it has to stop before something even worse happens.”

* – Subject has been assigned a name to protect her privacy.


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Anna Slatz

Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.

Anna Slatz
Anna Slatz
Anna is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Reduxx, with a journalistic focus on covering crime, child predators, and women's rights. She lives in Canada, enjoys Opera, and kvetches in her spare time.
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