It has all the makings of a horror movie; the girl being chased, the locked doors and a flat phone battery. Sadly this was a reality for 25-year-old Tessa*, who requested assistance through Namola when a man locked her inside his apartment and refused to let her out.
I received a request for assistance from Tessa around 11pm and when I called her she explained the situation to me and said that she was scared for her life
Says the Response Operator.
I could hear her arguing with the perpetrator, and then the line went dead. I tried to call her back, but it went straight to voicemail. I had her location, from the request and I just knew I had to get this lady help
Back at the scene of the crime, Tessa’s battery had run out and so with no way of knowing if help was on the way. Tessa, devised a plan in her head. If she could distract him, she would have enough time to get to the door and run. And so, calming the situation, she suggested a drink, and the perpetrator took the bait. This gave her enough time to dart out the door and into an unfamiliar block of flats.
She ran to the end of the corridor and down the stairwell, only to be met by another security door that needed a key pass to gain access. She now heard a door above open and close.
I was so scared. I saw one of those ‘break glass in case of an emergency’ cases with a button inside. I tried with all my might to break the glass, but it wouldn’t budge
I could hear him coming and I had nowhere to hide
As if someone was watching over her, a tenant, swiped their card from the other side and the locked door popped open. She briefly told them the story and they then suggested that she get to the security guard hut downstairs where she could try and get some help.
Tessa ran downstairs, and seeing the guard, she thought she had made it. She was wrong.
There must have been another way to get out because he stepped out of the shadows and grabbed my braids to swing me around. That was when I felt the blow to my jaw and my legs buckled beneath me
Tessa, although not able to recall, must have screamed as the security guard came running out of his security hut to see what the commotion was about.
He [the security guard] tried to help me, but the man said that I was drunk and that I had tripped and he was helping me up. Luckily he didn’t believe the man and got out his radio to call for backup
It was like her guardian angel was watching over her again, because before the security guard could even reach for his radio, the cavalry arrived on the scene, thanks to the fast-acting Namola Operator.
I have never been so pleased to see the police in my life. All I can say is thank goodness that I pushed Namola when I did. It could have been so much worse
The police arrested the man and Tessa followed them to the police station to lay a charge of assault and kidnapping against him. When we followed up with Tessa a few days later, she said that she was frightened for her safety, as he was “quite influential” and she was not sure her story was believed.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with a lot of these assault and domestic violence cases.
*Names have been changed for User’s protection as per her request.
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