In the aftermath of a rape incident, most victims experience long-term physical and psychological impacts.

Physical injuries to the body, including to the genital area, may occur during rape and can be fatal, hindering the victim’s ability to seek immediate medical attention.

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are not uncommon.

Every rape victim should get help from family, friends, social workers, doctors, police, and the governments in general to once again rebuild their self-esteem.

It is a monumental task for any rape victim to do, yet it could be the only way to make sure that they are ready to face the world again in confidence and speak up against the attacker. 

If there is anyone to be the embodiment of a woman’s survival story from sexual and physical assaults, it would be Alison Botha from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, who in December 1994 was kidnapped by two men outside his house, raped, repeatedly stabbed, then left to die in a deserted area.

Despite her body being torn apart, her extraordinary courage was unbroken. She survived the ordeal, and with exceptional courage, she has now overcome an unthinkable physical and emotional trauma.

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10 Ordinary Woman

Alison Botha was born on September 22, 1967, in Port Elizabeth, a major seaport city in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

She grew up there with her father Brian, mother Claire, and brother Neale. After her parents divorced when Alison was 10, the father left the family home.

In 1985, she became the head girl at The Collegiate High School for Girls and Port Elizabeth.

She then moved to a relatively quiet complex in the city and worked as an insurance broker. At the time of the attack, she was 27 years old.


9 The Kidnapping

On an otherwise typical pleasant night in December 1994, Allison was having fun at home with her friends, playing games, and having pizza. Everyone left around midnight, except Kim, because Alison had promised to drive her home.

When Alison returned from Kim’s home, she found that the parking lot was more crowded than usual, so she had to take one a little bit further than expected.

Before she even got out of the car, a man came out of nowhere, threatening to kill her with a knife unless she let him in.



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8 The Attack

Fearing for her life, Alison reluctantly obliged and let the man take the driver’s seat. Somewhere along the way, he made a stop to pick up another man.

From their conversation in the car, Alison knew one of them was called Clinton and another Theuns.

Somewhere in a deserted area miles away from her home, she was taken outside the car on a sandy surface full of broken glasses. The two men then raped and attempted to kill her.

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7 Murder Attempt

After the rape, the men tried to suffocate Alison, but somehow she withstood the attack and clung to life.

Perhaps due to frustration, they wanted to make sure their victim was indeed dead by stabbing her in the stomach at least 30 times.

Alison later recalled that Clinton also wanted to mutilate her genital, but he missed that specific part for some reason.

Not entirely done with their heinous brutality, the two attackers began to slit her throat 16 times. Then they left her in the middle of nowhere to die. Miraculously, Alison survived.

6 Left To Die

Her attackers were speaking to each other in Afrikaans, and she remembered one of them asking if she was dead, to which another replied that no one could survive such injuries. During the conversation, Alison herself remained perfectly still, playing dead.

The next thing she heard was the sound of a car engine that slowly faded away.

She was now dying alone; unless she received immediate medical attention, her chance of surviving was slim to none. In what she thought was her last moment, she wrote down the attackers’ names on the sand.

5 Rasping Sound

When the men left, Alison was conscious. As they drifted away from her, it was all quiet now except for the rasping sounds that she soon realized were coming from the wounds in her own throat.

She thought the noises were too loud that her attackers might come back because they heard the sound.

At the same time, Alison was trying to catch her breath, so she tried to cover her throat with her hand, but her fingers just sank into the open wounds.

4 Torn Apart

In her struggle to stay alive, Alison saw headlights through the bushes. When she tried to get up, she felt something wet and slippery on the surface.

It didn’t feel in any way like damp sand. She took a glance and noticed that her intestines had come out of her body.

She used her denim shirt to gather her innards and hold them together. It was more than just a bloody mess. Her body had been torn inside out, but she just refused to die.

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3 Finally, Help

With one hand holding her guts close to her belly, she tried to crawl out of the bush closer to the road. It was at that moment she realized her throat had been slit almost from ear to ear.

Now she had to use another hand to pull her head forward. Otherwise, it would just fall on her shoulder.

After crawling for about 300 feet, she collapsed on the road, where Tiaan Eilerd found her and called an ambulance. Eilerd, a veterinary student from Johannesburg, was at that time on holiday in Port Elizabeth.

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2 Attackers Sentenced To Life

When doctors saw the injuries Alison sustained, they couldn’t believe their own eyes. Dr. Alexander Angelov said that in his 16 years as a doctor, he had never seen such severe injuries in one person.

Alison was in surgery for several hours. The whole country had become aware of her order by the time she woke up.

Alison identified her attackers when police showed her some pictures. Theuns Kruger and Clinton (real name was Frans du Toit) were soon arrested. Both were sentenced to life in August 1995.

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1 True Survivor

Alison Botha, an ordinary woman with extraordinary courage and exceptional will to survive, has now managed to recover fully. She has done a lot more than staying.

She has written two books since then. Her ordeal and survival story became the main subject of the 2016 film “Alison.” 

Alison is now an influential speaker and has traveled to more than 30 countries worldwide, sharing her story. She became a married woman in February 1997 and a mother of two in November 2003.

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