A Vancouver mother is speaking out about “worse and worse” levels of violence in the city after her daughter was assaulted by two men on Monday morning.
Mirella Gibeau said her daughter, who has asked not to be named, was walking in the area of Waterloo and West 10th streets in Kitsilano around 2:30 a.m. when she was attacked by two masked strangers.
“She didn’t want to give up her phone so they punched her seven times in the face,” Gibeau told Global News. “What kind of person, what kind of man, punches a female in the face?”
The woman, in her 30s, suffered a fractured nose and is “traumatized” and concerned her face will not be the same again, said her mother.
Vancouver police have confirmed they’re investigating the attack. On average, the police force has said there are four unprovoked stranger assaults in the city each day.
“I can only imagine this was an extremely frightening incident for the victim,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in an interview. “We don’t know what their motive was, we don’t know what they were intending to do.”
Addison said the suspects are believed to be two men in their 20s, but because their faces were covered there isn’t much of a physical description at this stage in the investigation.
Gibeau said the men eventually fled, leaving her daughter on the ground. A cab driver saw her bleeding and offered to drive to the hospital, she added, but her daughter waited for her father to pick her up.
The woman was discharged from the hospital before noon on Tuesday.
“She said when you’re being punched and all you hear is the fabric of their windbreaker, then you realize how dark and how alone you are,” Gibeau recalled. “We need to feel safe.”
The mother, who has lived in Vancouver for many years, said she’s seen safety in the city “degenerate” steadily. She decried any political insistence that Vancouver is a safe place to be.
“I don’t need Vancouver to fix the world, what I need is for Vancouver to care about the people that live here,” she said.
The attack on her daughter follows a particularly violent weekend in the city. According to police, there were six stabbing in a 40-hour period, one of which was fatal.
Anyone with information about the Kitsilano attack is asked to contact Vancouver police.