Read this to protect yourself. Yes its true. One week ago a 30 year old woman was raped nearby. I attended the police forum and this is what I was told:
- The police take this very seriously. They understand the ripple effect of this on women everywhere and particularly in this neighborhood (near UBC, Vancouver). They are investigating rigorously.
- These “stranger” attacks are rare. Particularly on the west side of Vancouver. [Although the police could not explain why there were several attacks only blocks away on UBC campus over the last year]
- The woman was attacked at sunrise, about 6:15am on a Thursday at 16th and Discovery (by the glass bus stop). One block from my home in a quite neighborhood. She was running and wearing ear buds. She was struck from behind. Neighbors heard her screams. She fought off the offender. The police have DNA evidence and have interviewed many neighbors. They want anyone seeing anything suspicious at all to call them.
- The best way to protect yourself is to be VERY aware of your surroundings and to act confidently. Many attacks are on those who are seen as weak (or distracted). Walk with purpose and with others. Put your cell phone away.
- Change your routines. Bring a cell phone and call 911 no matter what!
- Trust your gut (even though women are often told not to!). Look people in the eye when you pass them on the street on your walks.
- If attacked, go on the attack. Yes. Attack him. Dig deep to find your anger and strike out at the man’s eyes, throat and genitals. Kick hard. Stomp on his feet. He will likely be surprised, since he assumed you were an easy target and will not want to get hurt. Your entire goal is to run to safety.
- Go to the Vancouver Police self defence course on June 4, 2015. Its free. See you there!
In the meantime, let’s all try to create a world where women and girls do not have to fear being raped in their own neighborhood while running in the morning.