Danielle d’Entremont was punched repeatedly in the face by a stranger on Wednesday, March 26, after receiving multiple threatening emails regarding her public support for feminist activities on campus.
D’Entremont, a student at Queen’s University, had been actively involved in opposition of a talk by the Queen’s Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS) scheduled for the next day. It is unclear whether the attack was related to these activities. D’Entremont reported that her assailant knew her name.
“We’re aware of the situation and, because of the context, the detective will be looking at the angle, but we won’t be assuming there’s a direct link at this time,” said Steven Koopman, media relations officer for Kingston Police.
“Regardless of a person’s opinion on feminism or equality for all is the fact that no one deserves to be assaulted,” he added. “Criminal repercussions will occur regardless if this is coming from this type of debate or if it’s independent of that.”
D’Entremont posted a photo of her face on Facebook following the attack, showing her bruised face and chipped front tooth. “I was punched in the face multiple times and lost half my tooth. This was after a few threatening emails regarding my support for feminist activities on campus. Take care of yourselves and try not to go out alone,” read her post.
“There have been various comments associating MIAS with this attack,” said Mohammad Albaghdadi, MIAS president. “Please know that these claims are unfounded and untrue. Our sincerest thoughts go out to the student who was attacked.”
Clashes between feminist and men’s rights groups have led to violence in the past. At U of T, in November 2012, a lecture organized by the Canadian Association for Equality, a men’s rights activist group, was disturbed by a protest involving around 100 people. The protest allegedly included physical altercations between anti-men’s rights activists and the police outside MacLeod Auditorium, the venue for the event.
Several U of T students who spoke out against the men’s rights group at U of T received aggressive emails from anonymous people threatening to harm, and in some cases kill or rape them. A reporter for The Varsity who was covering the events also received threatening emails.
D’Entremont has deleted her Facebook profile and reports fears of being stalked by a number of individuals both on and offline.
With files from The Queen’s Journal