Prominent Yellowknife elder Mary Cleary fears for her life after being attacked in her own home by someone she knows — the second time in a year that she's been seriously injured by someone else's actions.

Last October, Cleary was pushed to the ground when a shoplifter at Extra Foods ran past her, trying to flee the store. She suffered a broken wrist, a broken eye socket and a cracked rib in the incident.

Now the 63-year-old says she was assaulted in her apartment four days ago. Cleary tells CBC News she knows her attacker, and she's known to be aggressive.

"I didn't know what to do because she's so scary," she says. "She's a really scary person."

Cleary says she was home alone with her door unlocked, preparing dinner, when the woman entered her apartment.

"I gave her some cigarettes and … I was going to offer her something to eat and all of a sudden she just went crazy," she said.

Cleary says she got scared and told the woman to leave, threatening to call the police.

"She said 'Go ahead. Call the cops! I don't give a care, I'm not scared of the cops.' " Cleary says.

That's when things got worse. Cleary says the woman pushed her and grabbed her cellphone. Cleary managed to call the RCMP, but she says her attacker fled her apartment before police arrived.

The elder gave a statement to police, was taken to emergency and released with minor injuries.

It's not known yet if charges have been laid. Now, Cleary just wants to feel secure again in her own home. She'll start by keeping the doors locked — all the time.