Two Ottawa women are recovering from some very terrifying moments after they were sexually assaulted in the city’s west end.

The Ottawa Police Sexual Assault and Child Abuse section is investigating after two separate sexual assaults were reported  Monday July 14, 2014.

The first assault happened around 2:30pm in the 2800 block of Dumaurier Avenue when a woman in her late 30's was attacked.  Just hours later, around 7pm, another woman, also in her 30's was attacked along a walking path near Richmond Road and Bayshore Drive.

Police say in both cases the female victims were walking when they were grabbed and sexually assaulted.

Neither victim knew the suspect.

Police believe the same young man is responsible for both assaults.  The suspect is described as a teenage black male; he was wearing a green shirt, shorts and sandals with black socks.

Ottawa Police have issued safety tips on their website to help females protect themselves:

  • Try not to walk alone at night but if you do, be alert and avoid dark or isolated areas.  Instead, walk out in the open, away from walls, doorways and pillars.
  • Whether you are walking or driving, determine the safest route before you leave.  Take the longest route if that is the safest.
  • Tell friends or family members where you’re going, and then let them know when you reach your destination.
  • Have your key ready as you approach your house or vehicle.
  • Don’t enter environments where you feel unsafe. Trust your instincts.
  • Know your physical capabilities and limitations.
  • Don’t carry offensive weapons such as knives. They may be used against you.

Ottawa Police say if you suspect you are being followed:

  • Cross the street or walk on the side of the road.
  • Go immediately to the nearest well-lit or populated area.
  • If others are within hearing distance, turn to the person following you and say in a loud and assertive voice: “Stop following me!”
  • Contact Police immediately—go to a house or a store and call the Police or flag down a taxi and ask the driver to call the Police for you.
  • If the person following you is driving a car, take out a pen and paper, look at the licence plate and write the number down, making sure that the driver sees you do this.

Ottawa Police say if you are attacked:

  • Try to remember the complexion, body build, height, weight, age, and type of clothing worn by the attacker. If possible, write down the information while it is still fresh in your memory.
  • If an attacker is after your purse or other valuables, don’t resist. If you have the opportunity, throw your purse away from you to the distance the attacker from you.

If you have information about the reported sexual assaults you can contact Ottawa Police at 613.236.1222 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477 (TIPS) or toll free at 1-800-222-8477.