This time last week my youngest daughter was the victim of a sexual assault. It was a Tuesday night at about 10pm.
It's taken me a week to get myself into a frame of mind that makes blogging about it possible. To make it worse, I was working 900kms west when it happened. She spent last weekend home and seems OK. I thought I knew her well, but she's surprised me by her toughness and pragmatism.
In one sense, she was lucky (and smart) to escape with little more than a manhandling, but she was briefly in fear of her life.
The offender chose an isolated corner of the railway station, and for a few long minutes and try as she might she couldn't get away from him. She is petite and this guy was big. Fortunately, the training she had at school kicked in, and when her train arrived she broke away, and went straight for people and light. He followed her into the train, and then she was petrified that he'd follow her off the train at its destination. She told one of the other passengers, a guy she didn't know, but who daily caught the same train, and he was generous enough to stay with her until she got from the station to her unit. The offender disappeared.
She then called the police and they came around pretty quickly.
They have a description, and he would have been seen on video surveillance, but as I write this, the police haven't found him. So he's still out there. It looks as if he was stalking her for a while, as he waited until she was away from other people to make his move. She works shifts in a coffee shop and always catches the same train to get home.
So now she is reviewing her security, and organising for friends to accompany her whenever possible at night. I'm looking for some kind of duress alarm.
What makes me angry beyond measure is that her confidence and self-assurance has been put in jeopardy by this creep. One good sign is that she seems angry and indignant rather than frightened. I share that anger, and so do her two big brothers.
It's to be hoped for his sake that we don't encounter him somewhere. Brisbane is a small town.
Update 09.04.10 -
Police phoned my daughter yesterday and told her they will be charging a bloke today. Let's hope he can't raise bail - he needs to be off the street.