DISTRESSING CONTENT WARNING: A woman who was sexually assaulted in March has spoken out about the horrific incident.
Jessie, 21, came to Australia from the US as a carefree student, but three months ago she was subjected to a violent attack, saying she was “terrified” during the ordeal.
“It’s the only time I’ve ever felt that someone could rip me out of this world so easily,” she told 7 News.
Early one March morning, Jessie was heading home after a night-out drinking with friends.
It was a two-kilometre journey home and the Washington native decided to walk through Parkville.
Just after 2am she was attacked from behind, the music from her headphones drowning out the sound of a man’s feet.
“He came up behind me so it felt like this big force knocked me onto the ground,” she says.
“He threw me onto the ground and very quickly got on top of me, and as I was trying to get away he was hitting me and punching me and kicking me.”
As Jessie struggled to break free, the man reached under her skirt and sexually assaulted her.
But she continued screaming and he eventually gave up, running towards Royal Parade.
Jessie’s screams alerted neighbours who rushed to help and called police.
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“One of my first thoughts was that it felt a bit inevitable – that this is the reality of the world we live in,” she said.
Jessie said it was still too difficult for her to return to the site of the attack, but she has written a letter she hoped one day to give to the person who helped her.
“Thank you so much,” Jessie said.
“I feel like she was just so understanding … very kind to wake up at 2am and invite some girl into your house that’s crying, who you’ve never met before.”
Police are now ramping up their search to find Jessie’s attacker, who is believed to be in his mid-20s to mid-30s with dark hair and a muscular build.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.