It takes courage for victims of crime to fight back and then to speak out about their ordeal.

On Saturday we ran an interview our reporter Kaysha Brownlie had with the 20-year-old victim of a sexual assault in a secluded Park Island carpark.

The woman was home for the weekend from university in Palmerston North and was out and about until 3am. She was left by her group after an argument and what seemed to be a kind man, in a white car, stopped to help her.

The only reason she accepted his offer of a lift was because he had two women in the back seat and they seemed like genuine, nice people.

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Well, the man dropped the women off and then stopped in a dark carpark where he attacked her.

Thank goodness she was able to land a few punches and get away from him.

Now there will be some people who will say 'what is a young woman doing alone at that time of night?' and they would be missing the point completely. Yes, it is important that people - especially young women - keep themselves safe but this victim's circumstances changed and she found herself in a vulnerable position that she could not have foreseen. People have the right to live their lives.

It is not what the victim should or should not have done, but definitely what the offender should not have done.

He should not have attacked the victim and I hope the police catch him soon. He is described as being of Indian descent and police say the man may have facial injuries, "particularly around his nose", as a result of the victim trying to defend herself.

But the main point I want to make is this young woman is brave in coming forward and telling her story so others may know what to do if ever, heaven forbid, they find themselves in such a situation.