A WOMAN who was attacked and raped while out jogging is preparing for a tough challenge – raising cash for the centre that helped to rebuild her life.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was ambushed by an unknown attacker while jogging on a bridleway, off Kiln Lane in Drayton, in September last year.

Now she is preparing to climb 140m of sheer rockface in North Wales to raise cash for the Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC).

Speaking publicly for the first time, she told the Oxford Mail that nine months after the horrific attack she still suffers from nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

She said: “I never thought I would be a victim of rape.

“People have this image that you go out and drink, but I went out for an evening run in a picturesque village.

“It’s getting people to connect with the fact that it’s not as it’s portrayed or that anyone deserves it.”

After the brutal attack, where she was left bleeding in the street with a dislocated wrist, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and referred for cognitive behavioural therapy.

It took nearly four months for her to arrange one-to-one counselling with the OSARCC, initially because she did not feel comfortable speaking to someone over the phone.

However, once she was referred for one-to-one counselling she said she was able to speak about the incident.

She said: “You’re in this whirlwind of appointments and it was just a good place to go and not necessarily scream and shout, but when things are too much you can go and say whatever it is that’s annoying you or frustrating you.

“They can give you ways to do these things and get around it and tell you it’s not mad to jump out of your skin when your husband touches you.”

Although she no longer regularly attends the centre, she still uses the helpline when it all becomes too much.

She added: “The phone line is brilliant, the volunteers are amazing, they are all lovely.

“There are times when a lot of people in my situation come to the end of their rope I guess – at that point the helpline is vital.”

Now she has decided to face her fear of heights by tackling a 140m climb up the face of the Idwal Slabs, in Snowdonia, to raise cash for the charity that “gave her her sanity back”.

She said: “It is giving you back some of what was taken away and reminding you that there is a way forward.

“I want to make someone else’s rubbish a bit less rubbish because the OSARCC is not dealing with people who have had good things happen.”

But climbing goes far beyond just raising money for the charity and she says it is helping her to find her old self again.

She added: “I am not the same person I was, but there are still the sparkly bits of me and I look happy.

“But when I am clamming up about falling off, I do think about why I am doing it.

“I remind myself that I didn’t have any control over what happened that night, I know that.

“But when I am stuck and think I can’t do it, I think about the fact that this is something that I can do, and I can get to the top, and I am doing it for a good reason.”

The woman, accompanied by a group of friends and family, will tackle the cliff face on either Saturday or Sunday, and she has already raised £1,887, smashing her £350 target.

No one has been charged with the attack, but she said she will carry on climbing and trying to have a normal family life.

She added: “I think that’s quite difficult to live with, knowing that person is out there.

“For me it’s about having a normal family, having a proper relationship with my husband and my family and feeling safe at home.”

OSCARCC volunteer and outreach coordinator Ellie Bennett said it was incredible when survivors helped the centre by raising vital funds.

She added: “What she is doing is amazing, she is ridiculously brave and strong.

“But there are also lots of people who are not able to speak out about what’s happened to them and they are also amazing, brave and strong.”

Police spokesman James Williams said the investigation was still ongoing and anyone with information should call 101 quoting URN 1555(4/9/14).

* To donate visit justgiving.com/breaking-the-silence or to volunteer email recruitment@osarcc.org.uk


Victims of rape and sexual abuse can access help through a range of charities and organisations.

The Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) offers woman and girls who have suffered sexual abuse, rape, domestic abuse and harassment a variety of services.

As well as email support the OSARCC offers advocacy, advice, one-to-one support and group sessions. It also has a telephone helpline that is open 6.30pm to 9pm Mondays and Thursdays, 11.30am to 2pm on Fridays, and 6pm to 8.30pm on Sundays with a 24-hour answerphone.

The centre also offers an independent sexual violence advocate (ISVA) who can provide impartial advice and support around reporting and the legal system, healthcare, financial issues and any other practical concerns.

Men and boys who have suffered rape or sexual abuse can call the Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (AMSOSA), while all victims can access support through the national Rape Crisis Helpline.

To contact OSARCC call 01865 726295 or freephone 0800 7836294 or email support service: support@osarcc.org.uk.

Call the Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (AMSOSA) on 0845 4309371.

Visit oxfordrapecrisis.net.