Woman Jumps Off Thai Cliff To Escape Attacker (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani
Hannah GaviosHannah Gavios

It's every solo female traveler's worst nightmare come true.

A New York backpacker broke her back jumping off a cliff in Thailand to escape a man trying to sexually assault her.

Hannah Gavios, 23, was traveling in Thailand after teaching English in parts of Vietnam, the Daily Mail reports. She had just finished a 16-hour journey the day before and exhaustedly asked a tourist shop for help getting back to her hotel after losing her way in the resort of Krabi late at night.

The tourist shop she'd asked for help warned her it was dangerous to walk alone at night along the cliffs. Ironically, the shop sent her off with one of its workers -- the man who would nearly destroy her life, 28-year-old Apai Ruengvorn.

"While we were walking he grabbed me and was holding me down and trying to take off my clothes," recalled Gavios, who was not about to let him have his way without a fight.

She managed to bite his ear half off before fleeing as fast as possible, blindly running off a cliff.

But instead of the fall saving Gavios from Ruengvorn, it only left her more vulnerable because she was unable to move after breaking her back.

Scrambling after, he proceeded to do everything except full-on rape Gavios.

"I was in the woods in the bushes with wild snakes crawling on me while he was still continuing to harass me," recalls Gavios.

Gavios says she was forced to remain relatively silent because he would choke her when she screamed.

In a strange twist of events, it was her attacker who ended up altering local residents and getting Gavios hospital treatment -- but only after he finished molesting her.

Gavios is now being treated at Bangkok Hospital while her attacker was taken to jail. He reportedly later confessed to the sexual assault.

Women face unique dangers while traveling abroad alone. Still, many encourage women not to fear travel, Forbes reports.

"[It] will happen again," Forbes blogger Elisa Doucette writes, referring to a 2012 attack on a female traveler. "Not because the world is a big and scary place for women to travel alone. Instead it is because the world is still a big and scary place for women."

She then lists out safety suggestions for female travelers, ranging from dressing conservatively to carrying a safety whistle and being vague about accommodations.

Sources: Daily Mail, Forbes / Photo credit: SWNS via Daily Mail 

Is it generally safe for women to travel the world alone?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%