French engineer Lisa now avoids Melbourne's parks after she was punched in the face by a stranger who had followed her for 20 minutes.
She tearfully recounted her ordeal on Wednesday as police appealed for witnesses.
It is the latest violent incident involving a woman in a Melbourne public place.
Last week, a woman was moments away from her Melbourne home when a man dragged her into a laneway after he had earlier stalked another female on the same tram route.
These incidents come after several women died in recent years following attacks by men while walking in Melbourne, including 20-year-old international student Aiia Maasarwe, aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon, Masa Vukotic and Jill Meagher.
In this latest incident, 24-year-old Lisa was standing in Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne just before 7pm on January 5 when she says the man hit her and ran off.
"When he saw I was with people he ran away. I remember his eyes, it looked like he was mad, I don't know," Lisa said.
"Now I avoid all the gardens. It's terrible, Fitzroy Gardens was my favourite place and now I just try to walk around it. I just run and I don't feel safe."
Lisa said she almost dodged the punch and ran to a Russian family sitting in the park, pleading for help.
She had left her home at 6.30pm to go for a walk while talking to her friend on the phone. The man had bumped into her a few times on the way from her home to Yarra Park.
Lisa came to Melbourne nine months ago to work in the city and said she had felt safe until now.
She considered going home in France after the incident, but has decided to stay and come forward to help preventing these incidents.
Police have released a digital image of the man, described as aged 40-45, 170cm tall with brown eyes, brown hair and facial hair and wearing a dark green jacket and pants.
Australian Associated Press