An Adelaide primary school teacher who was allegedly “drugged, abducted and raped” while holidaying in South Korea is fighting for justice for herself and other victims of rape in the country.
In September last year Airdre Mattner, 25, says she woke up naked in a hotel room she didn’t recognise. Her money was gone, her clothes torn and strewn across the floor.
She had been travelling with her boyfriend but stayed behind a few days in Seoul. One night she went on a pub crawl because she wanted to see the city’s nightlife “in a safe environment”.
“I was drugged, abducted, and taken in a taxi to a hotel in the middle of nowhere by the man who later raped me,” Mattner wrote a crowdfunding page up to help pay her legal fees.
She recalls pleading with the taxi driver to take her to her own hostel but instead he followed the instructions of the man beside her.
“The next thing I recall is being on a bed in a hotel room. The man was on top of me. I struggled and tried to push him away but was again too heavily drugged to manage anything,” she said.
“I woke up the next morning completely naked. All my money was gone.”
The ordeal was not over, however, when Mattner went to the local police she then endured nearly 10 hours of invasive physical tests and insulting interview questions.
“I was subjected to numerous invasive treatments and tests, including having two women examine and take evidence from my body while my legs were in stirrups and a curtain was in front of me to block my view,” she said.
Later, she found not only had staff failed to follow proper rape procedures, they didn’t even bother to collect DNA evidence.
In her official statement Mattner gave a detailed description of her attacker and later identified him via Facebook when he tried to contact her.
Even so, she heard nothing from authorities for over a month. When the police report did arrive it had been “falsified”.
“Staff had written on official documents that I had presented saying I had been too drunk and became unconscious and didn’t remember anything that had happened,” Mattner said.
A campaign was run in Norway to explain the different between consent and rape to me (post continues after video):
After surviving on “a cocktail of anti depressants, anxiety medication, sleeping tablets” for six months, she says she is still having nightmares and panic attacks.
Mattner wants to prosecute the man who she says raped her who has since moved to London where he works for the Metropolitan Police. She started her crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to cover her legal costs.
In less than a fortnight she has received more than $11,000 and heard 17 similar stories from other woman attacked in Seoul, she says all but one were treated poorly by the local authorities.
“This is both incredibly heart-breaking but also gives me courage that I am doing the right thing in pursuing this,” she wrote in an update on her page.
“Let’s stand up, make a noise, and show that these monsters can be made accountable, and this horrifying cycle can be stopped.”