''It is almost as if bystanders think it is a private matter, so they won't interfere. They turn a blind eye to domestic violence.''

''It is almost as if bystanders think it is a private matter, so they won't interfere. They turn a blind eye to domestic violence.''

When we read last week that three young women working as promotional staff at Summernats were allegedly attacked, we felt a sense of dread.

Should we just assume that Summernats is completely uncontrollable? That no woman should ever work there, dressed in brief clothes or not? And isn't that what we would expect from this event?

Don't turn a blind eye to domestic violence, urges crisis service

It was strange how quickly the attention turned to the long-running festival, instead of the alleged attacks on the women. Oh, Summernats, what would you imagine?

We won't know exactly what happened because no-one has laid a formal complaint.

But here is what happened in a car park at Majura Park on Sunday. This is an eyewitness account from Juliet, who is seven months pregnant. I have her last name but she is frightened of repercussions if it is published (and I would be, too).

Her family drove into the car park so her husband could pop out with their three-year-old son to buy potting mix from the hardware store. They are redoing their garden and were on their way back from Pialligo. Juliet decided to stay in the car - she's at the uncomfortable stage of her pregnancy, so the less waddling the better.

As she sat there, she heard a man shout out. She thinks she heard him call ''Mel'' or something like that. Juliet turned around and saw a man running past her car.

She says he looked wild, he looked as though he was in a complete rage.

''He was calling out: 'Get back here'.'' Then she saw a young woman running through the car park. The man was catching up to her and he was making a fist as he ran.

Juliet, who teaches at a public school, says her first thought was that the man was preparing to hit the woman.

She started to get out of her car, to break up the fight. Now remember this woman is seven months pregnant. Another woman drove past the two people having a fight and she, too, stopped to get out of her car.

That woman said to Juliet that she thought the two people were having a fight.

Then, Juliet and her new ally think the two are actually about to embrace but instead it is clear the man is grabbing the small woman around the throat and grappling her to the ground.

Here's what flummoxed the soon-to-be mother of two.

''There were quite a few men who were pulling up and just watching,'' she said yesterday. ''A couple of guys started laughing. And all I could think was, 'this is not an arena spectacle'.'' The attacker turned on the other woman - who, with Juliet, was determined to help - and started threatening her too. He got his camera phone out and started filming her and shouting.

At that moment, Juliet's husband emerged with their son from the store and he went over to try to deal with the situation. Juliet started to call triple 0.

Juliet didn't see what happened next. Her ally said that the man dragged his victim into the car and slammed the door. The young woman, maybe 19 or early 20s, tried to get out but couldn't because the car was moving. No one got the number plate. Juliet noted the colour and make of the car but police told her that was not enough.

''I just hoped someone had seen something else and reported it,'' she says. ''He dragged her to the ground, I saw him hit her.'' But what has devastated this young mother more than anything was the response from others who witnessed the events.

''I am so sick and tired of people thinking 'this is not my problem' and just videotaping what they see.

''I've been out when men have brawls and other men will step in but I've also witnessed fights between men and women.

''It is almost as if bystanders think it is a private matter, so they won't interfere. They turn a blind eye to domestic violence.''

Juliet thinks the response would have been different if the man had stolen the woman's handbag. She thinks all the blokes in the car park might have set off in hot pursuit at the crime against property, eager to show their chasing skills. But as soon as the man called the woman's name, it became a private crime between partners and no-one would step up except two women, one of whom is just about to deliver her baby.

Juliet teaches a lot of young women in her job and she says she is frightened for them. It's not always going to be the case that there will be a brave, very pregnant woman, sitting in a car park, willing to throw her body on the line against a violent attacker.

''Violence against women is particularly a problem because 99 per cent of the female population can't defend themselves against men. It is the responsibility of men to step up,'' she says. So why don't they?

■ Follow me on Twitter @jennaprice or email jenna_p@bigpond.net.au

Editor's note: Police subsequently said they said they had spoken to one of the individuals involved in the alleged incident at Summernats and that person cast doubt over the original version of events.