Kaitlyn Byers, 18, a minor and lone female hockey player in the Spruce Highlanders hockey team, was sexually assaulted by a male player of the opponent’s team. The incident happened during a game in November, 2015.
The game was more tense than usual when the opponent player went agitated. ““His exact words to me were, ‘I want to f–k you,’ and then it changed to, ‘I’m going to f–k you,’ and then he pinned me against the boards and said, ‘I’m going to have sex with you whether you want to or not’ and at this point I was in complete fear and shock.”
What happened next is even more surprising. When she approached her coach who was also agitated on the incident, they both went to referee to complain. Much to their chagrin the referee said, “We didn’t hear it.” Instead of taking cognizance of the fact, her coach was handed a three-game suspension.
In the next game in January, 2016, the same player dug his stick into her ribs, and slammed her head into ice. Byers got injured and it took her five weeks to recover. On complaining, Alberta Hockey League said that it had no sexual harassment policy at its place.
Brad Lyon, senior manager of communications for Hockey Alberta, on contacting said that the league did take action, but he failed to ascertain what it was. Aggrieved Byers asks, “If there’s a policy, why was it not followed through when I made my complaint?”
Frustrated Byers switched to another hockey league last spring and planning to continue in the women’s league.