ACT Policing is seeking witnesses who can assist in the investigation of an indecent assault which took place on campus at the University of Canberra last week.
On Wednesday 18 March, a woman was walking along a footpath at UC (on Kirinari Street, towards College Street) when a man approached, dragged her into the bushes and indecently assaulted her.
This is not okay.
Police have said that the victim fought back and the offender fled, possibly due to another person approaching the scene.
Good on this woman for fighting back when she was able to! I hope she gave the offender a good kick in the pants resulting in permanent damage.
This morning police have said there has been another attack on a woman, this time on Tuesday at the Australian National University. The victim was approached in the carpark near the Fulton Muir Building on Daley Road and assaulted. Police do not believe this is linked with the crime at UC and are yet to release details of the offender’s appearance.
After two attacks in just over a week, I am immensely sad that women now can’t feel safe walking around their university campus. While I think that women should be able to walk around at 3am in their underwear if they want to without feeling threatened or unsafe, the woman at UC was attacked at 9.30pm. Hardly a time where you would be looking over your shoulder. She was probably just walking back to her car after a late class.
I attend UC part-time and there have been many times over the past few years where I have wandered through campus alone late at night. This could have easily happened to me.
UC is very poorly lit, so I hope that an event like this is enough for the university to sort things out and invest in some decent lighting. All students and staff deserve to feel safe on campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Perhaps UC can use some of the cash it is getting from paid parking to make the campus a safer place. While I have never actually seen a security guard on campus, I am told they are there and that they will escort you to your car or bus if you request it. I had no idea that this service existed. This is definitely something that should be better communicated to students and staff.
Almost a fortnight ago a 17-year-old woman was stabbed and murdered in a random attack while she was walking in a Melbourne park. The homicide squad chief Detective Inspector said at the time: “I suggest to people, particularly females, they shouldn’t be alone in parks.”
No. Wrong answer. Assaults like this and the ones we’ve seen in Canberra recently are never, ever the victim’s fault. There needs to be greater education on this issue. We should be teaching people ‘don’t assault’, instead of saying to people ‘don’t get assaulted’. Of course we need to be vigilant, but this should not be the only message we are sending.
Canberra has a reputation as a really safe place to live, and of the most part, it is. But events like random attacks on university campuses, and the recent murders of Tara Costigan, Sabah Al-Mdwali, and Neil Wilkinson send shivers up my spine. We all have the right to feel safe at university, at school, at home, in the workplace, or simply just walking down the street, no matter what time of day it is.
The offender is described as being about 1.80cm (5’11”) tall, with short hair, an Australian accent, and wearing a black hooded jumper.
Police believe there may be one or more potential witnesses that can assist the investigation. If you can assist or saw a suspicious person in a black hoodie in Bruce at the time of the incident, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or file a report online at https://act.crimestoppers.com.au/