An Australian teen was tied up, gagged and tortured in a shipping container by her ex-boyfriend in November 2012. She narrowly survived the ordeal and now hopes her story can be a lesson to other survivors of domestic abuse.
"Not a day passes I don't count my blessings and remind myself I'm one of the lucky survivors -- who found light at the end of a very dark tunnel," says Nikitah Beadman, now 21 years old, reports the Daily Mail.
Beadman began dating Robert Galleghan in July 2011, a man 12 years her senior. Galleghan was on parole for assaulting a police officer and also had previously attacked a man with a samurai sword.
Galleghan became increasingly abusive toward Beadman, leading the then-17-year-old to break off the relationship. Although he showed no signs of violence at the time of the breakup, things reached a boiling point when at a party at Galleghan's home that Beadman went to because she had mutual friends there.
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"Things got ugly -- he threw me against a wall and smashed my head on a coffee table," she said. When friends tried to intervene, Galleghan threatened them all with a knife, causing them to run away.
Beadman had a feeling what was going to happen next.
"In the past he'd made many threats he would kill me and bury me where no one would find me. And I knew he would," she said. "There was an abandoned shipping container in the backyard. He carried me in there and I remember thinking: 'I'm going to die here tonight.'"
Galleghan bound Beadman to the container with wire wrapped around her neck so tightly she couldn't breathe. He also gagged her with her underpants and stuffed a blue yoga mat over her head. He then proceeded to stomp on her abdomen and rape her with a wire to ensure that she would not be able to have children in the future.
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Police soon arrived, after receiving a call from one of the people from the party. Galleghan said he wanted to go to the station to make a statement about being assaulted during a drug deal gone wrong, but police insisted on searching the premises, which are in an isolated part of Queensland. They heard a faint cry in his backyard and found Beadman barely clinging to life.
"What sort of person leaves someone that they're supposed to love strapped to a trolley, in a shipping container, down the back of the house in the bush, and go off to the police station to make a complaint knowing damn well that she's probably going to die in that shipping container?" said Sgt. Peter Venz, one of the officers involved in saving Beadman's life, according to Cosmopolitan.
Beadman survived, but has permanent injuries from the attack.
"I have got a twisted backbone and two rotated ribs, that in any sort of movement or any sort of exercise could pierce one of my lungs," she said, reports Cosmopolitan. "I have also got nerve damage in my right arm, that I still couldn't use for a year-and-a-half after -- which was from the wire."
Galleghan was sentenced to eight years in prison in August, but could be up for parole in three years with good behavior.
Beadman is planning to now dedicate her life to educating other women on the realities of domestic abuse.
"Nothing will ever mend the emotional and physical scars, but they will be eased if speaking out can save lives. If one person makes the brave step to leave, my work is done," she said.