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Victim Confronted Alleged Attacker After Assault

A rape victim was allegedly bashed to the ground and spat on after she bravely followed her attacker and abused him as he fled with friends.
The 21-year-old woman was attacked as she left a club at Wollongong on Sunday morning in the city's main street. The woman told police she was walking alone in Keira St when a man pounced about 3am and allegedly penetrated her.
Incensed, the young victim followed her alleged attacker up the main street and abused him before she was hit in the throat and spat on as she slumped to the ground. The man then walked away with a group of friends.
As police yesterday revealed the arrest of a 20-year-old man, who was charged with one count of sexual assault without consent, detectives and rape counsellors applauded the woman's courage.
Detective Inspector Brad Ainsworth said police were appalled by the completely random attack.
Police were studying street camera footage to try to identify other men with the alleged attacker.
"It just happened out of the blue. That's what's so traumatic for the victim," Insp Ainsworth said.
"She was walking down the street and completely at random she's been approached and attacked."
The alleged attack occurred outside a row of Asian restaurants on Wollongong's busiest street.
And despite the time of day, police believe there may have been a number of witnesses either on foot or passing in cars.
Rape Crisis Centre counsellor Karen Willis said yesterday the incident underlined how vulnerable women were walking alone at night, even on busy streets.
Ms Willis said the girl showed tremendous courage to follow and confront her alleged attacker.
"She's obviously very brave and a million points to her," Ms Willis said.
"There's no right or wrong way to deal with it. Some people freeze, some people fight and some people run. But the key is being able to survive."
A 20-year-old Unanderra man will face Wollongong Local Court on February 25 charged over the attack.

The Daily Telegraph (6-2-2009)
Steve Gee



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