A Woman’s Worst (Motoring) Nightmare

A 49 year old woman in Queensland was raped by a passing motorist after her car broke down, leaving her stranded by the roadside. While waiting for help she was dragged into the rapist’s white van, punched in the face, threatened with a knife and raped. How could this have been avoided?

I think we too often feel we are being paranoid if we were to lock our doors and windows and remain in the vehicle, refusing help from anyone but the police or road service crew (NRMA, AAA, RACQ etc). I would certainly understand if a woman, especially at midnight, didn’t want me to help her, better safe than sorry and no offence taken.

In this day and age everyone should have a mobile phone they can call for help on and most places are within coverage. Having said that my 73 year old mother still goes once a month to a friend’s restaurant in the country and helps with the cooking. She returns in daylight the next day but only a few years ago she would make the trip at night. A lot of the steep, winding rural road has poor cell phone coverage. On one trip, on a Sunday afternoon, she was stopped by three indigenous persons blocking the road. As two remained in the middle of the road, one climbed in followed by the other two and told her to give them a lift to town. She complied and was terrified the whole way but fortunately this time, they just wanted a ride. Lesson? Lock your doors and keep windows up, use the aircon.

How safety conscious  do you have to be nowadays before common sense precautions becomes paranoia? Some experts speak of being in Code Yellow, then going to Code Orange and finally Code Red as things escalate and when there  is no risk they are at Code Green. But what if you are colour blind or simply can’t be bothered living your life by a colour chart? All too complicated really, either you are at risk or you aren’t.

Vehicle breakdown? You are at risk. After dark? At risk. By yourself? At risk.  It might be hard to overcome one’s natural predilection to believing most people are good and intend no harm (and that is true) but sadly the few who are not are opportunistic predators. They will be forever alert to the chance to make you their prey.

And to the woman who fell victim to this slime… You are not at fault, ever. You survived which means you did everything right. There are no hard and fast rules as every situation, every predator, is different and while there are some commonalities, if you escape with your life then you did the right thing, even if that was to not resist.  While that might seem to contradict an earlier post of mine, it doesn’t. As I said every situation is different and in this case the man had the element of surprise, a weapon and no hesitation in striking the woman to gain some compliance. I repeat, she did nothing wrong, it was not her fault, yet all too often victims suffer for years afterwards feeling they were the one that caused the crime.  Let’s hope this predator is caught and punished.

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