Local women are showing their support for a woman who shared a video of a disturbing incident she experienced when a man began following her around downtown Vancouver.
The woman took to Instagram to share videos of the man who was following closely behind her Wednesday (March 17), as well as to write out her account of what took place.
In her description, the woman writes that she went on a "short trip to the store to pick up a few things" and felt someone closely following her on her way home. She adds that she stepped off the sidewalk to let the man pass, but he merely stopped and stared at her. When she told him he was walking too close, she writes that he "said nothing."
The woman writes that the man followed her for a total of 40 minutes and stopped and stared at her when she reached out to strangers for help.
Vancouver Police respond
Vancouver Police Sgt. Steve Addison tells Vancouver Is Awesome that the woman filed a report with the VPD, which was the right thing to do.
"People regardless of gender should be able to walk freely, you shouldn't have to change your behaviour," he says. "This incident is very troubling, very concerning. Anyone in this situation would be rightfully terrified."
Addison says the VPD is conducting an investigation and encourages anyone with information to come forward.
Several other women have commented that they have also been followed by the same individual, while others commend the woman for sharing the footage on social media.
Vancouver women react
Here are some of the responses from Vancouver readers.
Be aware of where your police departments and fire departments are located. There is always someone there. Especially if you are a woman alone and driving. Do not lead the follower to your home. Weapons are not recommended because they can be used against you. Keep your eyes open and your earplugs out Sadly women have had to be watchful for decades.
This is so terrifying. It's brazen and in broad daylight and even when he knows she's recording.
Glad you posted this story! It’s so frightening and needs media coverage in the wake of missing women
The ONE situation where I wish there were no masks being worn.
--Maureen Fehr Wetzel
It looked like initially that there were passerbys. I would've stopped someone initially. Don't be afraid to confront, hopefully, you do that when someone is around. After telling him he was too close, that would have been a good time to call police, I.e. if you don't leave I'm calling the police. Then call if he doesn't leave. There's a course called Wenlido ladies - self-defence. I highly recommend it...I'm glad everyone is safe.
Scary! I used to have walk to my car late at night downtown. One night a guy tried to open my door as i got in. Luckily i had time to lock my door. I used to hold my keys between my fingers so i could poke an attackers eyes out! Keys are a great weapon!
Very smart of her to use her phone and make a video!
This makes me angry. Women, walk into the closest shop and call 911. Have pepper spray or a sharp pointy device on you always.
I am so disappointed in humanity.
I am so glad she is ok. That is so so scary.
--Manuela Chloe Tiefenbach
Let's create a page ladies, let's gather and protest. This cant keep going.