KINGSTON, Ont. – A Queen’s University student says she was attacked by a stranger after receiving threatening emails over her support for feminist activities on campus.
Danielle d’Entremont posted a picture of her swollen face on Facebook saying she walked out of her house in Kingston, Ont., late on Wednesday night and “got attacked by a stranger.”
She says she was punched in the face multiple times and lost half a tooth.
While d’Entremont notes that she isn’t sure if the attack is directly related to her feminist activities, she says her assailant was a man who knew her name.
Some students at the university have recently been pitted against each other ahead of an event hosted by the campus Men’s Issues Awareness Society which features a controversial lecture on “feminism’s double standards.”
The Queen’s student newspaper says d’Entremont has been actively involved in opposing the event, which was set to take place Thursday night.
Police in Kingston say they are investigating an assault on a Queen’s student and are aware of the “potential context in regards to the topic of feminism, equality and that men’s issues awareness group.”
“We are aware of it, we’re not discounting, it but at this point what we do have is an attack on a female from an assailant that appears to be unknown to her,” said Const. Steve Koopman.
“Regardless of a person’s opinion on feminism or equality for all is the fact that no one deserves to be assaulted,” he said.
“Criminal repercussions will occur regardless if this is coming from this type of debate or if it’s independent of that.”
The men’s issues group released a statement Thursday afternoon saying it “condemns the recent attack on a Queen’s student, and violence in general.”
Police are now trying to determine if there were any witnesses to the attack — which took place near the university campus — or any video surveillance that might have captured it.
The university said campus security helped the victim make her report to police.
“The university takes matters involving student safety very seriously,” Queen’s said on its official Twitter account.
The attack comes just weeks after the University of Ottawa announced it would create a task force on respect and equality.
The move was triggered by revelations of a sexually explicit online chat about the head of the student union, and allegations of sexual assault made against several members of the school’s men’s hockey team.