VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver woman is sharing her story of a racist attack, in the hope that other victims will break their silence.

Trixie Ling was walking home on May 9, when a young man walking towards her started making sexist and racist comments, she said.

“I just ignored him,” Ling said.

But as she walked past him, the behaviour escalated.

“He spit in my face,” she said. “That was very shocking, and obviously very disgusting and really despicable.”

The assault is just one of dozens that have happened in Vancouver this year. On Friday, Vancouver police revealed a disturbing increase in the number of hate-associated incidents.

So far this year, the department has opened investigations into 29 incidents involving anti-Asian racism, ranging from vandalism to physical assaults.

At first, Ling was hesitant to call police. She decided to do so, she said, because silence leads to more fear.

“I felt very angry and I think that really drove me,” she said. “I felt it was unjust and I have to speak out.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Vancouver Police Department Deputy Chief Howard Chow, who said he is concerned about those who are too fearful to come forward.

“There may be victims at home that are fearful of going out on the street, that are worried about being harmed, and aren’t reporting to police,” Chow said.

In Ling’s case, she said, investigators took down her account of the attack and they are looking for any surveillance video taken of the area nearby.