She was desperate to get home because her cat hadn't come back the night before and she was worried about him.
She was about 5 steps away from her car when she heard a voice.
"Lady, I think you dropped something."
She didn't think she had, but turned around anyway.
When the fist pummelled into her face, she fell and hit her head on the pavement.
Too dazed to get up, she could do nothing as the man dragged her into bushes.
She was raped and beaten so badly even her mum didn't recognise her.
She'd scratched her attacker, so she had his blood under her fingernails, but there was
a mix up at the forensics lab and the only sample they had got lost. The police made an
arrest, but they let the man go because his lawyer argued that her identification of him wouldn't stand up in court because she'd been concussed when she’d fell.
Cathy (not her real name) is not alone in not getting justice.
In the UK, the prosecution rate for rapists is pathetically low.
I wrote Hell To Pay because I wanted to see an everyday woman turn the table on her attackers after the law failed her. I was sick of seeing strong, brave women like my friend subjected to the vilest of assaults and left with victim's guilt.
Cathy once said to me that the police asked her why she didn't ask a male colleague to walk her to her car. The question upset her. She felt as though they were blaming her for being attacked.
In time, she started to think they were right.
In my friend's case she never got justice. She never saw the man (if anything that can be called a man could do such cruel things aimed at achieving the maximum hurt and degradation to another human being) in the dock and never got to tell her story to a court.
My Die Hard for Girls books come with a guarantee: that women will always get justice
and the bad guys will be punished.
Hell To Pay is out now on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
Maybe one day that will happen in real life. I certainly hope so.
Disclaimer: Hell to Pay (Crime Files Book 1) is pure, escapist fiction and does not in any way advocate violence.