If we at The Question could, we would hand out some high-fives to the two Whistler women who fought of a sexual attacker in two separate incidents last week.
We canít imagine the fear and panic that must have seized these women, who were both walking through the Village, when a man grabbed them. Police say it is too early in the investigation to say whether the person is the same in each incident, but the description of the suspect is strikingly similar.
The odds of two men, both described as being of East Indian origin, in two consecutive nights attempting the same pattern of sexual attack is, in our honest opinion, low. Sexual attackers repeat their actions over time until they are caught and even after they are punished, most are at a high risk for recidivism.
But the implication is clear, there may be a sexual predator attacking women in Whistler.
There, we said it, now we wait for all the people who get sensitive when anything that could affect the image of Whistler to call and yell at us that we are scaring away visitors and unnecessarily spreading fear with the above statement.
Whistler is amazing and awesome and will be visited by many regardless of these incidents. Not being open and honest about issues of safety for women would be a mistake. Not reminding the ladies in this resort to be safe after two attempted sexual assaults in the Village, would be obfuscating what is really going on.
Women of all ages should heed the warning incidents like these give and take steps to increase their personal safety. Travel in groups, stick to well lit areas, be aware of your surroundings and the people around you at all times, is all good advice the RCMP offered up this week.
This is not in any way an attempt to fear monger, because sexual assault is a common occurrence here and anyone who would claim otherwise is delusional.
These two incidents represent the smallest proportion of sexual assaults, the ones that are random, violent and perpetrated by strangers. These ones stick out, get headlines and are attention grabbing.
We may not always talk about it, but sexual assault is pervasive in our society and for the most part it goes unreported by those who experience this form of victimization.
The fact it often involves men known to women and goes unreported is fuelled by the mentality that women, because they are drinking or dancing and enjoying the nightlife, because they are dressed in a certain way, because they flirt with men are inviting it to happen.
The idea that what women wear, what they drink and how they behave makes them a target for rape is a mentality that should be strenuously opposed whenever it is encountered.
So if you read our story about these recent attempted sexual assaults and noted these women were walking home alone late at night, one from a nightclub, and you made a leap in your stream of consciousness to an assumption on how they were dressed at the time, we suggest you change your misogynistic antiquated worldview or start reading another newspaper.