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On the night of July 2, Cliff Allen was riding the bus in Toronto. He was not alone. There was also a 12 year-old girl and three men who appeared to be in their early twenties. Allen observed as the men made lewd, sexual comments to the girl. When the girl got off the bus, Allen noticed that the men were following her, so he followed them. After several blocks, he caught up to them, where they were ripping the girl’s clothes off in an attempt at raping her. Allen jumped in and punched a guy in the face. In the ensuing brawl, Allen remembers getting in another good punch and a kick to someone’s groin before the attackers eventually ran off. Because the girl’s top was destroyed, Allen literally gave her the shirt off his back and walked her home and gave her his contact information. On his walk back home, Allen, a diabetic, passed out from a blood sugar crash. He was eventually awoken by a local EMT and taken to the hospital. The next morning, he received a gracious call from the girl’s parents.

In my interview with Allen, I found him to be a sweet guy who was still pretty shook up from the events of that night. Allen also voiced his concern over Toronto’s lack of a substantial support structure for sexual assault victims. In closing he said, “Even if one rape a day is stopped, then there’s one less horror story. People should remember there is strength in numbers: we shouldn’t be afraid to help.”

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