A Filipino living in the United States says he still suffers from trauma due to a hate attack he survived weeks ago as he was about to join his fellow countrymen to celebrate Philippine Independence Day. But he still has not plans of pressing charges against his alleged assailant.
Pablo Villavicencio of Bulacan said an African-American woman in her 20s dashed in front of him and swung a 2 x 2 piece of wood at his head just as he was exiting a bus terminal to board a train for Los Angeles.
Villavicencio was able to duck and the wood hit the backpack on his left shoulder. A station agent advised him not to go after the alleged assailant and lead him to a safe place in the station. The incident was reported to the police by Villavicencio and the station agent.
“She was someone who looked like any other train passenger if not for the wood she carried to hit me,” Villavicencio was quoted as saying by a national daily.“You would not even think something may be wrong with her. I have not seen her ever, much less know her to be her enemy.”
While he was not bloodied, Villavincencio felt some pain on his left shoulder days after the attack.
The suspect was later arrested and was sent to the Santa Rita jail, where she is undergoing evaluation to find out if something is wrong with her. But Villavincencio has no plans of pressing charges.
“I want to press charges but I have no means in doing so. I really don’t know how to go about this process of pressing charges and seeking justice. Besides, I really need to take care of myself first and overcome this constant fear in me. How can I even face her again if I still have this feeling of fear? What happened then always comes back to haunt me even in my dreams,” he said.
The Alameda County Attorney’s Office has offered its services to Villavicencio including referral for medical treatment, mental health therapy, housing information and assistance in filing for the victim compensation program with the State of California to reimburse him for expenses related to his getting attacked like “out-of-pocket losses as a result of medical and hospital costs, loss of wages, relocation expenses and mental health counseling.”
Villavicencio, however, still suffers from trauma from the attack.
“I am not sure if I am suffering from trauma and anxiety. I don’t feel free to go out anytime like before. I cannot even feel safe stepping out of the door to run simple errands. I don’t feel safe going out especially when I have to go far,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH