Car rental companies in Vancouver, B.C., are scrambling to address a report of an alleged assault on a driver at a car rental shop.
A woman said she was sexually assaulted by a male passenger at the rental shop in Langley.
“I was so upset.
I was so disgusted.
It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” said the woman who wanted to be identified only as Samantha.
The woman said the man forced his way into the car and groped her, saying he would “do whatever” she wanted.
The man then drove away, she said.
Samantha was driving to her job in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with a rental car.
She said the rental car company confirmed the incident happened, but declined to say why.
“There was a man, who was a driver, who said he was trying to make a friend, he was going to take his friends to a club and that’s when he was assaulted,” said Samantha.
She had just returned from a job interview and was headed to a downtown restaurant to eat lunch when she said the alleged assault occurred.
She called police, but the driver and her friend were never arrested.
She was told the man was suspended.
“He’s been suspended,” said Vancouver police Const.
The driver is the only person who has been arrested, and he will be in court on Thursday, said a police spokesperson.
A spokesperson for a rental company in Vancouver confirmed Samantha was a customer but declined further comment.
“We are shocked to hear this,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Samantha said she has contacted the police about the incident.
“That was very upsetting.
It’s a real problem and it’s very disturbing.”
A spokesperson from Car Rentals Canada said it is reviewing the incident and would have no further comment until the matter is resolved.
“The behaviour of a passenger was unacceptable and we will continue to work with the authorities,” said spokesperson Jordan Smith.
Samantha’s story has sparked a national conversation about sexual assault in the workplace.
In May, the federal government introduced new sexual harassment and violence prevention measures.
They include a $25,000 fund to help women who have experienced sexual assault, a $30,000 support fund for survivors and an increase in funding for victim support.
The new measures come on top of a $500,000 funding commitment from the federal and provincial governments in May.