A young woman who was allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted is going to run the New York marathon to fundraise for sexual abuse support services.
The woman, who remains anonymous, detailed the help she received from support services after the assault - including the invasive examination she had to undergo to collect evidence after the incident.
The woman, who was 23 at the time, says she awoke in a Riverhead quarry partially clothed, badly injured and with a man standing over her with a baseball bat on February 26.
She managed to flee and call police.
Police arrested and charged 59-year-old Colin Mitchell in connection with the attack. He will stand trial in February.
The victim said she is running in the November 5 marathon for "past, present and future survivors" of sexual assault. She was inspired by another survivor who told her that the attack did not define or confine her.
"Participating in this marathon is extremely meaningful for me, as I had always planned to run a marathon this year - and I refuse to let my offender dictate my life."
The sexual abuse support service HELP was there for the woman when she arrived in hospital after the assault.
"I was then confronted with the reality that I would have to be photographed, x-rayed, scanned, drug tested, swabbed, have my fingernails removed and so on, all before I was able to consume anything, or be cleaned up to ensure evidence preservation.
"HELP ensured that I was aware of what was going on, what was to come and that I was as comfortable as I could be. HELP even made sure that these procedures were completed and my face was cleaned up before my parents arrived - as I didn't want them seeing the state it was in.
"Following an event where all control has been stripped from you, to regain some sense of control is extremely important and I will never forget the service and support I received from them."
Wellington HELP social worker Jacqui D'Ath said they were extremely appreciative of the fundraising effort. The organisation needs around $1.08 million to operate a year and has to raise $200,000 of that. Last year HELP came to the aid of hundreds of people with their 24/7 crisis support service, social work support, counselling services and education prevention.
"We're not funded to the level we need to be to provide services we need to provide," D'Ath said.
"It's always amazing and we really appreciate it if anyone does anything to support us financially."
It is believed the attack occurred when the woman became separated from her friends earlier in the night after attending the Auckland Pride Parade.
The woman had no recollection of who the man was or how she got out west.
Mitchell is charged with abduction, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit sexual violation.