VANCOUVER (CityNews) — Nani Gonzalez was shocked when she saw footage of a man following a woman near Tinseltown, because it appeared to show the same man who followed her around the same area of Vancouver last month.
“Oh my God, this was the same person that recently followed me,” she thought to herself when she saw the story on City News.
“Doing it to multiple women, that’s very scary.”
Gonzalez was leaving the Stadium-Chinatown SkyTrain station on Feb. 27 around 11 pm. when she sensed someone behind her.
“From the station there, I could feel a following,” she says.
Fortunately, she was able to avoid the man and lost him before she reached her home. She reported the incident to police Friday.
RELATED: ‘He didn’t have any fear to him’: Video shows frightened Vancouver woman being followed by stranger
Jamie Coutts posted a video of a man following her earlier this week.
Speaking with CityNews on Thursday, Coutts says she lost her sense of safety that day. She thinks there should be a way for women to alert police when they are walking in public other than calling 911.
“I think that it would be a super big help to have more outlets for women. I know when you are on the SkyTrain, I think it’s a phone or button you can push so if anything happens authorities are reached immediately,” she says.
“That would be really amazing to have that around the city”
UPDATE: "Other victims have come forward" @VancouverPD says the investigation continues after a woman was followed by a man around #Vancouver on Wednesday. @CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 https://t.co/1lOq0CXz9O pic.twitter.com/TxUN5nUK6R
— Ashley Grace Burr (@AshleyBurr_) March 19, 2021
Vancouver Police have provided an update on the case.
“We have other victims who have come forward that we are investigating as well, and we will continue to do so,” said Const. Tania Visintin.
Feven Kidane is with Get Home Safe YVR. It’s a community group that offers safe walks or rides home to anyone who needs it. They’re sharing their services and contact information through social media posts.
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Dozens of Kidane’s friends joined overnight and offered to help around the Lower Mainland. People are posting their neighbourhood, phone number, and whether they’re able to offer a ride or a meetup to provide a safe walk home.
“I kind of hoping it doesn’t get too big on our end, because that would mean people are making these for themselves with their own peer groups, so it’s a lot more tight-knit and community built,” she says.
While initiatives like this one where women come together to keep each other safe are helpful, the executive director of WISH Drop-In Centre Society says everyone has a responsibility to work towards ending violence against women.
“It’s all of our responsibilities — as parents, as educators, as school boards, as law enforcement — everyone in our society should be talking to men about toxic masculinity, talking to boys and men about violence, about consent, about appropriate behaviour,” Mebrat Beyene says.