Sex assault survivor hopes speaking out will encourage others to come forward

At a time when we are celebrating our freedom. “It's difficult and I just moved to Austin to be by myself,” says a 23-year old woman who is mourning hers. “I can't walk down the street anymore without thinking that he's out there,” she says about the man who sexually assaulted her.

She was leaving an apartment complex off of Riverside Drive after a day at the pool with co-workers. “I called my other co-worker to come pick me up,” she says, adding, she was randomly attacked on the way to the complex’s parking lot. “He approached me and got close to me, I was intoxicated.”

She says the man forced her into his apartment and sexually assaulted her but she was barely able to escape. “I didn't report until the morning after because I was in such shock,” she says.

It's been two weeks and she doesn't even know his name. Her case still making its way through the Austin Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit.

“He could move apartment complexes, he could cut off his phone,” she says worried her attacker will never answer to his crime, “The guy could get away with a brutal act with the time it has taken to get my statement in. I'm starting to not only block out and not want to relive it but I’m resorting to having to write down facts so that when I go to give my statement they don't think I'm lying,” she says.

The harder it is for her to remember, she thinks, will make it easier for the courts to forget. ”The victims completely get burned out dealing with these cases and that's why you see so many short term sentences for these rapists that are on the loose,” she says. “I now know how it feels to not want to report a rape. So I understand the so many unreported rapes. My message is to report it, I don't care how long it's been, a month 2 weeks, if it's still haunting you report it and then once you go through the protocol with A.P.D. make sure you stay on them.”

The Austin Police Department on Friday also encouraging survivors with open cases as far back as the 90's to call or email them for an update. Their tip line is 512-974-5555. A.P.D. says survivors should provide: their name, date of birth, report number (if known), date or year of the assault, pseudonym if you had, contact information (phone and/or email).