I had just turned 18 and was moving to Vancouver to start a new life in the city! Having grown up in a small town I was full of excitement about this big move but I was also feeling some trepidation. My roommate and I quickly settled into our new life though, and we got into our Vancouver groove.
There were a number of nice people living in our condominium complex including a mid- 50’s year old couple who lived directly across the hall. She was a flight attendant and I would ask her lots of questions about her industry as I wondered if this might be something I would be interested in too. In her kindness, she invited my roommate and I over for Thanksgiving dinner that year. We had a wonderful time with both her and her husband and she patiently answered all of my questions related to the travel industry.
About two weeks later I was home alone at night waiting for my roommate to finish her shift at work when I heard a knock at the door. Looking through the peephole I saw my neighbour’s husband standing there. I opened the door and we exchanged pleasantries. He asked me where my roommate was and I told him she was at work. He then inquired as to whether I had a telephone book and if so, asked if he could borrower it. Of course, I obliged and told him to come in and I would get it. I bent over to dig it out from the bottom cupboard in the kitchen and felt him grab me from behind. My mind started racing and I was so confused that this could possibly be happening with someone I had just had Thanksgiving dinner with two weeks prior. After a split-second of paralyzing shock, my conscious mind took over and I felt an incredible force of nature erupt inside of me; survival instincts kicked in. I fought him off and made a lot of noise, yelling at him and threatening to call the police. He eventually realized that this wasn’t going to play out the way he had undoubtedly imagined it in his mind, so relented and demanded I quiet down. I yelled at him to get out. He asked me not to tell anyone and threw $20 at me on his way out the door which I suppose was “hush” money.
When my roommate finally got home and I told her what had happened she started crying and freaking out. She called her mother to ask what we should do and her mother told us to call the police immediately and file a report. I remember feeling an overwhelming amount of sadness and reluctance in doing that because I did not want to hurt his wife who had been so incredibly kind to us. Imagining how this was going to make her feel was crushing for me. However, we were not safe now and I felt like for the sake of both myself and my roommate (and who knows who else) I had to act. I filed the police report and moved out shortly thereafter. While I don’t wish this kind of experience on anyone, if it happens to you be sure to speak out. Don’t let perpetrators get away with doing these kinds of things. Even if that perpetrator is sadly, someone that you thought you could trust.