The dark side of backpacking in Australia

The backpacker victim who was held captive against her will. Photo: Supplied

It's meant to be the lucky country but for many women backpacking around Australia it's anything but.

A young British backpacker has been rescued after allegedly being held for two months and abused by a Cairns man. The 22-year-old was allegedly kept hostage during a terrifying 1360km road trip across outback Queensland and was only freed after a service station attendant alerted police when noticing two black eyes and bruises on the distressed woman. A friend of the woman has said her captor never left her side after the pair first met and became a so-called item. She was allegedly beaten, choked and repeatedly raped by the man for two months before police rescued her and arrested the man who was hiding in the back of their car.

Tourist allegedly raped, held hostage in Qld

But sadly this tragic story is the latest in a string of abductions and rapes in rural areas that read like scenes from a horror movie.

In February this year, a 24-year-old Belgian backpacker was abducted from Murray Bridge in South Australia after posting an ad looking for fruit picking work. A 52-year-old man who answered her ad came to pick her up from the country town before driving her to a remote farm house where he allegedly held her against her will and raped her. The woman was eventually able to escape after sending a message to her only friend in Australia detailing her ordeal and location. Sadly she said she didn't even know the number of the police to call and feared she would be shot if she fled.

In December 2016 20-year-old British backpacker Mary Kate Heys was rescued after she was reportedly held captive in a car with an allegedly mentally unstable man. He drove her from Mooloolaba, on the Sunshine Coast to Gympie two hours away. Police were able to come to her rescue after she texted her dad back in the UK, showing him her location on Google Maps.

In one of the most horrifying cases, in February 2016, two young female backpackers were allegedly brutally bashed and raped in the remote Coorong sand dunes in February 2016. The German and Brazilian women in their 20s allegedly met their attacker, a 50-year-old man, after he answered their ad looking for someone to drive them across rural South Australia. In terrifying scenes the women emerged from the dunes screaming, covered in blood, "he's going to kill us". Their abductor was charged with attempted murder, sexual assault, unlawful detention and assault causing serious harm.

In 2016 a German backpacker was held hostage and raped in a shearing shed after being fed chocolate laced with sedatives. The 19-year-old had only been in the country, her dream holiday destination, for two weeks when the ordeal unfolded. She was picked up from a bus stop by the 48-year-old man after she answered a job ad seeking a nanny and farmhand assistant. The woman was cable tied, raped, and choked while being told by the man he "would kill her". She woke up the next morning on the side of the road.

In 2012 two European backpackers, one of them German, were attacked in Alice Springs after they parked their car in a deserted street and went to sleep. That night three young men forced their way into the car and forced the women to have sex at gunpoint.

Source : http://www.whimn.com.au/talk/news/the-dark-side-of-backpacking-in-australia/news-story/9cd890702ef31d4c7c264c00cec74c83?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=Paid&utm_campaign=whimn&utm_content=mobile

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