Exclusive: I knew he would rape me

2015-08-25 13:45
The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Durban – “When he first hit me I had no idea what happened…it was so out of the blue, as if the physical laws of the world had stopped working,” a jogger who was raped at knife-point told News24 in an exclusive interview following the attack.

The victim, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed shocking details of how she was forced to undress – hidden by tall grass from people walking within touching distance of her and the man who pinned her down.

Compounding her harrowing ordeal is that while she harbours anger towards her attacker, she is unable to completely condemn him. 

“I have mixed emotions about him. A part of me is still extremely angry because he could have stolen what he could and then just left me there. I feel like he needs to answer for his actions but I don’t know his story other than he is a drug user but I feel somewhat sorry that his life has gone down this path, I find myself unable to completely condemn him,” she said. 

The attack played out on a June morning, as the Johannesburg businesswoman had set off on a run while visiting her parents in Howick. Nearing the end of an 8km hill run, the 38-year-old woman had noticed a man running behind her, making conversation between heaved breaths.

As she pulled away, he tackled her into a roadside ditch, obscured from view by tall grass.

Forced to undress

It was in the ditch, on piles of shale and the dry grass, that she was forced to undress and was raped.

“By the time he landed on top of me I knew what had happened. It was almost instantaneous that I knew things were going to be bad,” she said.  “That is when I thought ‘Oh shit’ this is actually happening.”

She said the thought of being raped had never been something she had obsessed about. 

“It was never something I had ever associated with myself or was ever concerned it would happen to me. It is something that lurks in the back of your mind. When I was tackled and he pinned me down with the knife to my throat, I knew he would rape me."

She thought about how she never carried anything of value when out running, so being robbed was never a consideration.

“He demanded my cellphone and obviously I didn’t have one on me. And then he asked for money and when I realised I had nothing to give him, I was more frightened of what he may do because of the valuables he was after.”

The runner, who has worked extensively abroad, said that the cuts and scars from the fall served as an unwelcome reminder of the day she was defiled.

“My legs, arms and torso got quite cut from the grass and rocks that he tackled me through and they are taking a long time to heal. I just wish they would heal and disappear so that every time I look at them I don’t need to be reminded of what happened,” she said. While she was pinned down two women and another runner passed the place where she was hidden. Fearing for her life, she complied with her attacker and stayed quiet. 

Shied away from strangers

After dealing with the initial trauma of the incident, the woman told of how she had shied away from strangers.

“I was beside myself initially and it took me quite a while to regain my equilibrium and my balance, but fortunately for me I think I am a strong person and I am back at work. It took a while for me to have the confidence to go running again, but I have gone back out on the road.”

“I was bit nervous around people for a couple of days after it happened and a bit fearful of strangers, but now I feel like I am back where it was before it happened.”

“The issue of contracting HIV was big for me and because I know how it is easily transmitted during rape and that was one of the priorities – I just wanted to get medical help as soon as possible.

“I have nothing but praise for everyone who responded to help me. Their assistance to me and the arrest of my attacker within five days was incredible.”

She added that the prospect of facing the man who forced himself on her was something she met with dread. 

“It is not something I am looking forward to but I know I need to do it and I am dreading it. It is bad enough that I was a victim to begin, and I am gritting my teeth about having to relive every detail of that in a courtroom full of people.”

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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