If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, please seek help with a qualified counsellor or by calling 1800 RESPECT.
Jesse Ratu, a 24-year-old mother of two, has always felt safe during her peaceful morning walks.
But this Sunday, something changed.
Jesse was returning to her apartment in Southport, on the Gold Coast, at around 7:30am when she saw a man approaching her.
“He looked a little lost,” Jesse told Mamamia. “I brushed it off a bit.”
As she went to buzz in to her apartment, she could see his reflection in the glass windows and noticed that he was walking at an increasingly fast pace. It made her nervous.
When she turned around, he smiled at her.
Again, despite her discomfort, Jesse tried to ignore him.
That’s when he decided to grope her on the bottom five times, while Jesse was facing in the opposite direction.
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“Don’t f*cking touch me,” Jesse said instinctively, while simultaneously freezing up.
“Sorry, I had to do that,” he replied, according to Jesse. “You have the best arse.”
She ran inside her apartment and through tears told her partner Brendan what had just happened. He bolted downstairs within seconds, but after 20 minutes of searching the streets nearby, was unable to find the man who had assaulted Jesse.
While Brendan scoured the streets, Jesse plucked up the courage to call the police.
“I was a bit nervous and very, very scared,” Jesse said about reporting the incident. The police said they would send people over, and while she waited, she called the complex manager to request the CCTV footage she knew would have caught the act out the front of her apartment.
“They were amazing,” Jesse said of the police. She eventually went to the police station and made an official statement, in the hope that they would be able to find the man who left her so shaken.