Assault victim shares her story after string of similar attacks


Tatyana Tymchuk, a first-year Social Service student, was on the phone with her mother when she was sexually assaulted Oct. 5 on the trails southeast of campus that lead to Trafalgar Rd.

Tymchuk left her house around noon heading to Sheridan. “The people that I was staying with offered to drive me. I said ‘No, the school is a very short walk from the house,’” said Tymchuk.

Tymchuk was talking to her mother. She was more focused on the phone call.

“When I was very close to the school, I was on the trail. I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one on the trail,” said Tymchuk. “[It was] broad daylight so I didn’t think anything would happen.”

She was around the end of the trails when she was grabbed from behind. “A black hand comes over my mouth, I screamed – I still had the phone in my hand,” said Tymchuk.

The attacker had a solid grip on her face but she managed to get his hand off her face. The attacker then held a grip onto her waist area, which lead to bruises around her waist. “He was trying to pull me back and I was able to pull forward,” said Tymchuk. “We struggled together for a good few feet and then I dropped my weight on the ground and I guess he didn’t expect that.”

He let go then and Tymchuk looked up to see the security vehicle just at the end of the trails. “The whole thing happened very fast.”

“I was questioned by the campus security and the cops,” said Tymchuk. “I couldn’t say very much because I didn’t turn around and look who it was.”

Tymchuk only recalls that the attacker was wearing a black glove that had a grip on the palm. “I know it wasn’t a cheap dollar store glove,” she said. “This person was probably smart enough to wear something to get a good grip on something.”

Many thoughts were going through her mind when the attacker struck. Don’t breathe, don’t freeze up, scream and just try to get out of the situation she told herself. “My head was spinning,” she said.

“All I could tell myself was ‘Don’t breathe anything could be on that glove there could be drugs,’” said Tymchuk. “You’ll never actually know what to do until you’re in that situation.”

“When my mom had come down to the police station, she was questioned because she was on the phone with me,” said Tymchuk.

Her mother did not realize it was her screaming, she thought it was someone else from a distance. “When I told her [it was me], she was in hysterics,” said Tymchuk.

Tymchuk explained that there was a misinformation in reporting on the incident. An email was sent telling that the attack took place at 1:40 p.m. but the attack was between noon and 1 p.m. “It was nowhere near 1:40 that I was attacked.” It was closer to 12:40, she explained.

She was aware of the previous assault in August, but she didn’t expect to be a victim and certainly not in broad daylight.

“I blamed myself for what had happened. There was a whole week where I had stresses about it. I had nightmares for a good month,” said Tymchuk. “I kept blaming myself thinking if I hadn’t been on my phone I would have been able to prevent that.”

Tymchuk had a friend walk her home until she moved into residence. She said it was safer and closer because she hadn’t had to use the trails since she moved in.

She believes that students need to get more educated about the situation. “Walk more in groups, don’t walk home late at night,” said Tymchuk. “Drive somewhere, take a taxi, take a bus if they’re still running and just be on your guard.”

Like many students, she is not sure about the land ownership and what limitations Sheridan has in regards to safety measures and actions.

Tymchuk’s thoughts about Oakville safety still haven’t changed.

“[Sheridan] naturally has a good reputation. It’s a very good college, but the more attacks that happen to people and the lack of action that will not be taken all the time will create a reputation where people will either not attend the school or will not think very highly of the school because of what’s happened.”