TORONTO, April 8 /CNW/ - On the night of Tuesday, April 5 a woman was
viciously assaulted at York University. Valerie Bustros was beaten by
three males when she attempted to use the female bathroom facilities at
York University's Ab pub. The attackers questioned her gender. The
University released a brief statement recognizing the assault.
Valerie Bustros was walking to the women's washroom when a man
approached her. He said that she was using the wrong washroom. She
explained that she is a woman, and a lesbian. On her way out of the
washroom, the man questioned her gender. The incident escalated as the
man pushed Valerie. He threatened her and subsequently proceeded to
punch and kick her and was aided by two of his friends.
York University Security was alerted and arrived on the scene
thereafter, after the assailants had left. They stayed with Valerie for
a short period, but left to attend to a fire alarm. Toronto Police were
called and took Valerie's statement. Toronto Police have security tapes
from the incident.
This incident follows a series of several brutal cases of sexual assault
on women students at York University's Keele campus. The Metropolitan
Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC)
released a series of recommendations last fall after students
successfully pressured the administration to conduct a safety audit on
campus. "Female students do not feel safe on campus," said Valerie.
"The University has been ignoring violence against women and against
the queer community for too long."
"York must issue a statement condemning the incident and comply with the
Toronto Police to find the assailants and sanction them. The students
want to see measures in place to prevent such attacks and this includes
a timeline for implementation of the METRAC recommendations" said
Alastair Woods, External Coordinator for the Trans Bisexual Lesbian
Gays Allies at York (TBLGAY).
"At York, there is no sense of safety or security", reinstated Bustros.
A public community meeting will be held in the TBLGAY space to address
the issues of homophobic violence on Friday, April 8 at 6:30pm. A
statement has been released by TBLGAY, York Federation of Students,
Glendon College Student Union and York Positive Space condemning this
act of violence and can be read at www.yfs.ca.
SOURCE York Federation of Students
For further information:
Valerie Bustros, (647) 996-2847 (cell)
Alastair Woods, TBLGAY External Coordinator : (647) 378-8942 (cell)