Reported attacks on women in Calgary spark social media awareness movement

A wave of social media posts about reported attacks on women in Calgary have sparked a small movement in the city. As Taylor Braat reports, the downtown area is covered in new signage.

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Alleged assaults and attacks on women in Calgary making noise on social media.

The several reported incidents being shared widely right now, are not surprising for sexual assault advocates like Danielle Aubrey, the CEO of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, but a rise in awareness is creating hope.

“Social media is a potentially empowering platform for people to come and talk about their experiences, so I think it’s a positive,” she said.

Calgary police released a statement Wednesday evening, regarding two major incidents circulating on social media.

One incident involved a woman who was allegedly pulled into an alley and violently sexually assaulted.

Police say they’re currently investigating and pulling CCTV from the area and are asking anyone who knows anything about it, to come forward.

The other incident involving one group of three men, and another group of three women and a man. Police say that incident could be characterized as more of an altercation involving two groups, rather than an outright gender-based attack.

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The movement is creating conversation, one Reddit post asking “Why are so many Calgarian women being followed and attacked lately and why is it not getting the attention it requires?”

The outpouring of posts has the community on alert with signs now popping up along 17 Avenue showing support and providing some advice for victims.

Police say there is no indication that there has been a rise in assaults or attempted attacks on women in Calgary, and warn people to be mindful when sharing the posts as they can create fear in the community – but they say they are taking the allegations seriously, as any offence is one too many.

Aubrey says victims of sexual assault do not have a responsibility to speak out, but when a society begins to speak out, that is when change can be created.

“Finally people are talking and that’s what’s going to make the change around sexual violence and how society deals with it so, yeah, it’s very exciting.”

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