Attack highlights security concerns

Programs available to provide sense of security to women walking on UVic campus

A frightening incident that took place last weekend on the University of Victoria campus highlights the need for all of us to do a little more to ensure the safety of ourselves and those around us.

A UVic student was attacked by a group of men in a wooded area adjacent to parking lot #1 in the early morning hours Saturday. The victim managed to fend off her assailants until a passerby came to her aid and the attackers fled the scene. Saanich Police said the woman never gave in and did everything she could to prevent the attack. Afterwards she bravely came forward to report the incident. Her actions likely prevented the incident from becoming far more traumatic, as the victim escaped any significant injuries.

But the incident should also serve as a reminder of the dangers women face when walking alone at night. It shouldn’t be a necessity for women to fear for their safety when they’re alone at night but unfortunately that is the world that we live in. Women should always try to remain in groups after dark, and services such as the Safewalk Program at UVic are available to ensure students reach their destinations safely. But programs like Safewalk can’t prevent crimes if they aren’t being used. It may only be a few minute walk, but that’s all it takes for a tragedy to occur. Talk to your friends, neighbours, classmates and family members and make sure they realize the dangers of being alone at night.

Meanwhile, the police are searching for a hero in our midst. Saanich Police are hoping to speak with the man who intervened during the attack. Police hope the unknown individual who broke up the attack and got into an altercation with the assailants might be able to provide some clues on their identity.

Anyone who may have information relating to the attack is asked to call the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).