Neighbour leaves women sunbathing topless 'vulgar, aggressive' letters

woman sunbathing in backyard
The women say they were shocked to receive the letters, given their backyard is fenced and their landlord had no problems with them sunbathing. Photo credit: Getty.

Two Canadian women say they feel "shocked and violated" after receiving aggressive letters regarding their topless sunbathing. 

Deuphine Apedaile and Cassy Conley both live in East Vancouver where they've been spending their lockdown time pottering in the garden and sunbathing outside.

The pair told Global News as the weather improved throughout April they began sunbathing topless - something they say they thought would be fine, given their backyard is fenced and their landlord had no problem with it.

But the women say they were shocked when an anonymous, angry letter arrived in their mailbox.

"When I opened it it was the most vulgar, aggressive thing I'd ever read in my life," Conley told Global News.

"It said basically 'hi naked neighbours' and then described [my] body in incredibly vulgar language, saying we were doing things we weren't doing, and if we didn't stop sunbathing topless... they would make us famous for it."

Deuphine Apedaile and Cassy Conley.
Deuphine Apedaile and Cassy Conley. Photo credit: Global News.

Not long afterwards, a second letter is said to have arrived with photos of Apedaile. 

Conely says the anonymous neighbour threatened to post the photo and the women's address online, and the writer claimed their son had already circulated photos on social media.

"The fact that a fellow human is even capable of putting in the effort and obsession to violate someone that way shocks me," said Conley.

The pair says when they contacted the police they were initially dismissive. But since the media took interest, police have reportedly taken the case mores seriously and confirmed to Global News it's now being treated as a sexual assault investigation. 

According to a survey of 5000 women by the French Institute for Public Opinion, the number who regularly sunbathe topless has fallen sharply over the past three years, from 29 percent to 19 percent. The Guardian reports the drop is influenced by the #MeToo movement, with many women aged between 18 and 25 citing harassment and ogling.