A woman who was assaulted in a public washroom in Chemainus was shocked, not only by the attack, but by what she felt was a lack of assistance from people in the vicinity.
The woman (whom the Chronicle has decided not to name) upon leaving a cubicle in a public washroom, was surprised to find a man inside the woman’s area.
Assuming he was confused, and had entered the wrong washroom by mistake, she was going to leave, when he tried to force his way into the stall with her.
He tried to grab her, but the woman jumped back, kicking him and screaming.
“He appeared shocked and stared at me for a moment until I chased him out to the street, still yelling,” she said.
Upset as she was by the attack, the woman was equally disturbed by the lack of support she received from people who saw the incident.
She said there were many people “driving past,” but no one thought to stop, or ask why she was chasing a man “out of the toilets.”
After watching the man run down the street, she “crumpled and began to cry.” She said people passed and stared at her, but still did not stop to help.
The episode has shaken her image of Chemainus. “I am deeply disappointed in the reaction of people around me,” she said.
“I had always visited Chemainus for the friendliness of it’s people and the feeling of community, but that day has left me jaded.”
She concluded by saying incidents like her’s can happen anywhere, and people need to be prepared.
“I’m hoping that my story will be shared to prevent future events such as this,” she said. “What if it had been a girl weaker than myself? What if she had been too scared to move? What if she had screamed, but still no one came to help her?”
A man was reportedly taken into custody by the RCMP shortly after the incident, but as of press time the Chronicle has not been able to determine whether or not charges have been laid.