A homeless Columbus, Ohio, woman who walked several miles each day to confront her rapist in court is “amazed” by offers of help pouring in on her behalf, the Columbus Dispatch is reporting.
Earlier this month, the story of the unnamed Ohio woman went viral when news broke that she dutifully attended every court hearing of her rapist, according to this Inquisitr report. Determined to seek justice, the rape victim would use bus vouchers provided by prosecutors, panhandle bus fare, or when all else failed, walk several miles to confront her assailant.
Columbus police detective James Ashenhurst credited the homeless rape victim’s determination in getting her assailant, Paul E. Hubert, put behind bars.
“He was counting on her not showing up. If it wasn’t for her cooperation, he would have walked.”
Since her story broke, offers have poured in to the Dispatch offering to help the homeless woman. Some have offered to help her get housing. Others have asked how to set up accounts for her at crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.
A Columbus Dispatch reporter, with help from Detective James Ashenhurst, tracked down the woman and took her to McDonald’s to talk to her. The detective bought her a meal. As he began to read emails offering to help her, she began to cry.
“People do care.”
The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, was amazed that so many people were willing to offer help to a person they’d never met; particularly, a homeless person.
“Why would they want to help a homeless person? Why would people who have a job want to give their hard-earned money to help someone in my situation?”
The woman admits that she’s an alcoholic and that she’s unlikely to sober up at this stage of her life.
“I don’t know if I’m ready to sober up My kids are grown. I’m almost 50 years old. What do I have to sober up for?”
But she also admits that she’s willing to put a life of homelessness behind her if it can be done.
“I want to get off the streets. I’m tired of this. I’m tired of dumpster diving and wondering where I’m going to get my next meal from.”
However, as is the case with many homeless people, getting her the help she needs is not as easy as it appears on the surface. Homeless advocate James Alexander says that there are plenty of resources available in Columbus to help people such as the unnamed rape victim, and she hasn’t taken advantage of any of them. Further, he says, the woman has shown up several times at a center for homeless people who are publicly intoxicated. She’s refused all offers of help at getting cleaned up.
Despite her difficulties, the woman is grateful for the offers of help.
“Thank you for being so compassionate to a person that is in my shoes.”
[Image courtesy of Getty Images/Spencer Platt]