News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg woman speaks out about 'extreme' case of alleged domestic violence

Shaylene Wilson says she wants others to learn from her mistakes.

Shaylene Wilson, seen in this photograph provided to Metro Winnipeg, says she hopes others learn from her mistakes and do not take abusers back.

Handout/Shaylene Wilson

Shaylene Wilson, seen in this photograph provided to Metro Winnipeg, says she hopes others learn from her mistakes and do not take abusers back.

The victim of a vicious domestic assault early on New Year’s Day says she hopes that by sharing her story, others will get help.

“Obviously it’s not a positive in my life, but if I can twist it in some way to try and help someone else. You never realize how bad something can get,” Wilson said.

“This is never something I would have imagined when I met him eight months ago and he’s cooking me dinner and cleaning the house for me…I would never imagine eight months later he’s trying to kill me.”

Police have charged Christopher Rutherford, 31, with attempted murder, two counts of assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats and kidnapping, along with numerous other offences, for the Jan. 1 attack.

He is presumed innocent of all charges.

Police took the unusual step of releasing details about the attack Sunday due to its ‘extreme circumstances’, said Winnipeg Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen.

Wilson, 22, said she was at a Portage Avenue bar when she and the suspect got into an argument. After leaving the bar, Wilson said she asked for her keys to her car. They were thrown at her on the sidewalk, and when she tried to pick them up, she alleges she was picked up and put into her car.

 “I was yelling help and nobody helped me,” she said.

Wilson said she was driven around for about an hour, and yelled at during that time. The argument escalated and became violent, she said.

“That’s when he started punching me, pulling my hair. My hair’s all falling out because he was just ripping at it and he was slamming my head into the window,” she said.

“I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to kill me. He repeatedly told me how he was going to kill me, saying that I was gonna die tonight.”

Wilson said at this point she was already bleeding from her nose. She said not only was her life threatened, but the lives of other family members as well.

Scared, Wilson said she put her seatbelt on just moments before the car was allegedly deliberately slammed along the passenger side into a parked semi at the corner of Arlington Street and St. Matthews Avenue.

The remains of the car after it was allegedly deliberately smashed into a parked semi.

Handout/Shaylene Wilson

The remains of the car after it was allegedly deliberately smashed into a parked semi.

The driver fled the scene, said police.

Wilson said the semi driver was sleeping in his vehicle with his dog, and he and a passing motorist called 911.

“I remember saying to them that he was trying to kill me and they called 911. The paramedics had to take the door off in order to get me out of the vehicle.”

Wilson spent six hours in St. Boniface Hospital before being released.

She suffered cuts and bruises and whiplash and said she’s lucky to be alive today.

The suspect was under a protection order to stay away from Wilson, said Winnipeg Police. However, Wilson said despite the break up and the protection order, she went back.

“He manipulated me into letting him back into my life and a month later this is what happened,” she said.

“It escalates so quickly. I mean I’ve known this person for eight months of my life, that’s it.”

Wilson said she’s afraid now to be alone, and she does fear her attacker, who’s in custody, will hurt her when he gets out.

“As long as he’s in custody I feel I’m safe, but whenever the day is he’s released I hope I’m not living in Manitoba because I have no doubt that (he’ll hurt me).”