By Cory James

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search continues for the men who attacked a woman outside a Harlem liquor store, and now, the community is showing their support for the victim.

A large crowd of people stretched across 128th Street in Harlem on Saturday night, many of them standing directly in front of a liquor store where a 31-year-old mother was brutally beaten Monday.

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The demonstration was the end of a rally that began three blocks away as women, men and children stood on the corner, speaking out against violence targeting the neighborhood.

“If we don’t do it, who is? It’s our responsibility, it’s our duty to protect our women and children in our community,” said Omar Jackson, director of Stand Against Violence East Harlem.

“It could have been me, my daughters, my mother, any female,” East Harlem resident Tamika Foster told CBS2’s Cory James. “The community as a whole, we all need to stick together.”

Earlier this week, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner spoke exclusively with the woman who was assaulted.

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She says she was purchasing a bottle of wine inside a liquor store when one of the men offered to pay, but she politely declined.

After checking out and leaving the store, the woman says that man and two others chased her across the street, then kicked her. One of them even bit her on the forehead.

Police say a woman was assaulted and robbed by three people after an argument at a liquor store in Harlem on Jan. 18, 2021. (Credit: NYPD Crime Stoppers)

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“No matter how much I asked, you know, I’m trying to get to my daughter, please leave me alone, I said I’ll call the cops. He didn’t care about that. He had one thing on his mind and that was to attack me. That’s what he wanted to do,” the victim told Rozner.

The victim’s family members showed up to Saturday’s rally in support of their cousin, who they say is still traumatized.

“People can’t think that they can do what they want to do. No means no,” cousin Laroya Smalls said.

“Senseless, no reason, she didn’t even know them,” cousin Sybil Smalls said. “We need them caught. That’s our main objective.”

Police are hoping surveillance footage will help make that happen so that the woman who was attacked can have justice and her sense of security restored.

“I definitely want to see him locked up, if not underneath the jail for what he did to me because I did not deserve this,” the victim said.

One of the men accused in the attack also allegedly stole the victim’s iPhone.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

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Cory James