Austin rape survivor shares story, urges victims to speak out

sexual assault suspect at ACC Riverside Campus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — “It is something that’s always going to be with me.”

No matter how many minutes, days, even years go by, Lindsay Leavitt still remembers the moment she was attacked.

“He whispered to shut up or he was going to kill me.”

Lindsay was raped while jogging in Pease Park 15 years ago. “He led me off the trail to a place he had prepared that was hidden under a bunch of brush,” explains Lindsay.

Lindsay is following closely the news of two similar attacks in recent days, especially since both cases remain unsolved. It took three months before her attacker was caught.

“I do remember the time waiting for him to be caught as something very scary because just imagining that this monster was still out there,” recalls Lindsay.

Lindsay says women should protect themselves when they’re out for a run by not wearing headphones, occasionally changing up their route, and carrying pepper spray. But if you still become a victim, Lindsay says the most important thing you can do, is speak up. “A lot of these attacks go unreported and you need to report it to stop that attack from happening to someone else.”

After her attack, Lindsay says she got help through SafePlace, a crisis center for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

SafePlace has recently expanded to meet the growing needs of victims in Austin and Travis County. In June, SafePlace opened a 24/7 center that provides free forensic exams. Nurses are available at anytime to do the exam in a private setting, away from hospital emergency rooms.

In October, we revealed the center saw twice as many victims as expected in the first four months it was open. SafePlace says that’s because more victims are willing to come forward and get the exam.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s