It feels like women are repeatedly being targeted in West Shore, with regular warnings from police following disturbing encounters or criminal acts. We have heard from the mayor of Langford, RCMP and various media about the recent random attack on the Galloping Goose, but we desperately need more follow-up.
Why is the only topic of discussion lighting up the trail? The suspect has not been caught. We know nothing about him and he is still out there, along with other creeps and predators that have targeted and victimized West Shore women in recent years.
This was a serious, violent crime and our dialogue has been quiet and understated. What frustrates me is where is the strong collective voice, especially the female voice, in response to this most recent sexual assault? Why aren’t we seeing a sustained community effort from residents and politicians to stand up to and address violence against women?
A disproportionately heavy caseload for this area, with many crimes unsolved, makes it feel particularly unsafe and dangerous for women. This isn’t a recurring problem in other areas of the CRD or city sections of the Galloping Goose, Lochside Trail or even Beacon Hill Park. So what makes out here different?
Why does it feel like the odds are greater I will be a victim of a random attack in Langford than elsewhere in Victoria? This is disturbing and cannot be tolerated.
What causes a sick disturbed predator to prey on and harm a woman? Mental health, drugs, sadism, violent upbringing, rape culture, demographics, socioeconomics? These are serious questions we as a region need to be discussing.
We cannot afford a prevailing social attitude that normalizes violence against women. “Well as women, just be more careful.” No, that’s not enough. We need to break the stigma of silence and start a dialogue addressing the underlying social problems of women-targeted crime here in West Shore.
Mulling over the installation of lampposts will not stop these offences from happening again. The root of the problem is far greater than that.