Message of hope after gang attack
Sophie Ibbitson and her father Craig. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

Sophie Ibbitson cannot wait for the day she can return to school.

The 15-year-old hopes to eventually graduate from high school and become a flight attendant, but she knows she still has a few hurdles before she can realise that dream.

“My goal is to go back to school next year, but because it is such a hard year I am getting to the point where school just makes me too upset and anxious,” she said.

“At first the anxiety attacks were just happening when I thought about the assault, but now almost anything can trigger it off.”

Sophie’s nightmare started in September last year, when she was assaulted by six men in their 20s while walking to the Innaloo shopping centre.

The Churchlands Senior High School student was walking on her own in Woodlands when the group surrounded her.

One of the men put his hand up Sophie’s shirt and grabbed her by the throat before forcing her to the back of an empty block. Sophie said she was taunted, kicked, punched and spat on before she ran to a nearby McDonalds to get help.

She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression and still suffers anxiety attacks but has come a long way in her recovery.

Sophie recently decided to make some good of the situation by raising money for Lifeline and encouraging others to contact the organisation when they need help.

“I want other people to know that if something has happened to them, Lifeline does help a lot,” she said.

Sophie and her father Craig hope to raise at least $5000 over the next few months.

To donate go to https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cOUo4

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West