01/02/2013 08:38 EST | Updated 03/04/2013 05:12 EST

First Nations woman remains fearful as police investigate assault

A First Nations woman who reported to police that she was sexually assaulted in Thunder Bay remains fearful, according to a family friend.

Christi Belcourt is acting as a spokesperson for the 36-year-old woman whose alleged assault is being investigated by Thunder Bay police as a possible hate crime.

“I'm hoping that, for the victim herself, if they catch the perpetrators, that she'll be able to at least feel safe,” Belcourt said. “Right now, she doesn't feel safe.”

Belcourt said there needs to be more attention paid to the issue of violence against Aboriginal women.

The woman reported to police she was abducted by two men on Dec. 27 in the city's north end. She told police the men made several racist remarks, drove her to a wooded area and sexually assaulted her.

Thunder Bay police say the "racially motivated" remarks made by the alleged assailants led them to pursue the investigation as a possible hate crime.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers.