Georgina Mortimer, a 45-year-old doctor, decided to spend her vacation in St. Lucia, an idyllic Caribbean island known for its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts. Mortimer wanted to find a break from the routine of her work, so she vacationed with Girls for Sail, where she intended to learn to sail and have a good time in the Caribbean. Girls for Sail is a women-only company accredited by the Royal Yacht Association that hosts events for women to teach them how to sail.
She recently spoke about her horrific experience to the Sun, and the mom of two gave the following statement.
“I woke up to find myself being strangled and raped by this total stranger. I was terrified. I honestly thought I was going to die,” she recalled. “I’d gone on a women only holiday to learn to sail believing I would be safe. I am devastated by what happened and I am going to do what I can to stop any other woman going through this.”
The shared villa where the rape occurred had been assigned as part of the holiday package, with the reassurance that the front door would be locked at night and occupants would be safe. However, this was not the case and Mortimer claims an intruder strangled and raped her just hours into her stay.
As reported by Mail Online, in a potential landmark case, Mortimer is now taking action against the holiday company and villa owner for negligence – paving the way for other tourists to sue private property renters.
“I was not given a key for my bedroom door but two instructors were also staying there and I understood the front door would be locked each night,” she said. “I am shocked by a company, which claims to empower women by helping them learn to sail without men, has treated a rape victim so badly,” Mortimer told the publication. “My life has been turned upside down. I have horrendous flashbacks and feel traumatized. To be offered a massage and manicure is disgusting.”
“When I complained again I was finally refunded my money,” she added.” I was also offered a complimentary days sailing. It all belittled the nightmare I’d gone through. I thought my tears or my screams could be reason enough to anger him and assassinate me.”
Terror gripped her when the rapist broke into her room and she froze in fear when she realized what was happening.
“I woke to find a monster pinning me down in my bed attacking me, I thought I was going to be murdered,” a visibly shaken up Mortimer recalled.
After the terrifying episode, Mortimer called police who then took her to the emergency room for an examination. At the hospital she was given medication to prevent her from contracting HIV or other sexually transmitted disease.
Mortimer says that when she went to tell the organization what had happened, she was met with a hostile reaction. To her surprise, the company tried to quell the matter, recommending that she not discuss the incident with other guests.
“Girls for Sail even advised me not to tell other women arriving alone what had happened in case it upset them,” Mortimer explained while fighting back tears.”I was in shock. Looking back I should have said something. There was no sign of a break in, it appears he walked straight into the villa but I was made to feel as though I’d done something wrong.”
Mortimer sought out legal help and hired a lawyer to sue both organizations for negligence, claiming Girls for Sail also failed to report the attack to the RYA. Her lawyer, Vidisha Joshi, stressed that it is the responsibility of tour operators and hotel owners to take care of their clients.
‘This is a professional woman who was attacked in her own bed whilst away on holiday. Tour operators, hotel owners and others in the holiday business have a duty of care to protect their customers.’
[Image via Shutterstock]