Christchurch prowler: Victims showed ‘courage and bravery’ says sexual violence agency

A sexual violence agency says the victims of attacks in Christchurch early yesterday morning showed courage and bravery.

Police initially called the man a prowler in Upper Riccarton.

The 45-year-old man is now facing multiple charges of assault with intent to commit rape, burglary and one of strangulation or suffocation.

He entered at least two homes and there are five victims.

Manager of sexual violence agency Aviva Gwenda Kendrew said stigma can come with sexual assault.

“There’s often quite a bit of blame put on the person who has been assaulted so I think they’re brave to pick up the phone or come into an organisation like ourselves.”

Kendrew said the follow-up support is crucial after their ordeal.

All those affected should be offered support like counselling, she said,\.

“I think the speed of how fast things happened is indicative of the community working together, the police responding very well and the victims reacting quickly to what happened.”

The Christchurch man is facing three charges of assault with intent to commit rape on a female over 16, five charges of burglary and one of impeding breathing/blood circulation.

He appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Baillie said police are providing the five women at the centre of these incidents with support.d

“Despite these traumatic events, thanks to the actions of these women, we were able to mobilise our staff to the area quickly and locate the suspect.

“Police would like to thank the members of the public who have provided information.
We are also conducting scene examinations at several Upper Riccarton properties today.”

• Anyone with information is asked to contact the Operation Linen investigation team via 105 and quote file number 201029/8070.

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