Hungarian champion ultramarathon runner Viktória Makai became a victim of a brutal sexual assault in Budapest on October 14, 2018.

While she was doing her regular run along the road, a strong, heavy man tackled her, beat her head bloody and then sexually abused her. Several cars drove past them on the road while this was happening.

Her husband went to look for his wife and managed to prevent further tragedy. Driving the attacker away, he saved his wife who was taken to a hospital at once. The police arrested the assailant the same day and pressed charges against him.

After being released from the hospital, the mother of two refused to hide her wounds and decided to launch an anti-violence campaign, “Run Away.”

“We hope to generate thought-provoking ideas that can help us increase our safety. We would welcome any action to advance this important social issue. Perhaps these campaign messages will help others to tell their own stories or draw the strength needed to make a change.” – Viktória says to media.

She reveals her thoughts and feelings about the assault and post-traumatic stress disorder that she’s experienced with astounding openness through her photo gallery and personal messages.

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“I’ve always wondered what chances a 50-pound woman would have if she was attacked”

“I often worried about how we could protect our slender little girl and what she could do for her own safety. My junior European judo champion cousin always said the only chance a slender woman had against a well-prepared male attacker was to run. Today I know that if the challenge comes unexpected, even a Hungarian champion marathon runner can be outrun on 100 yards, but I still believe the best solution is to run: sooner and faster!”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto

“I was suspicious of the man running behind me but I was reluctant to believe that he was really after me”

“I was running in a safe, well-lit, busy neighborhood. I had an obvious idea of what is safe and what is dangerous. I didn’t make a mistake, but the sexual abuse incident still happened. I owe my life to my husband. There’s no such thing as 100% security. Security is what allows you to live a carefree life in the way you imagined for yourself. Your own solution is the good one.”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto

“I recognized him. He greeted me every morning with a smile on his face”

“One of the journalists told me: “I was surprised that the assailant was a tall, blond, good-looking Hungarian man.” Stereotypes may misguide you. None of us is perfect, neither am I. Freedom and security is human rights. They are independent of ideology, skin color, gender or religion. I look for and find honesty and good will in my relationships with people. Most of the social problems often come from our immediate surroundings and not from outside. I will keep an eye out for my environment and refuse to live with my eyes closed.”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto

“He kept beating my head and told me to shut the hell up!”

“Speaking plays a central role in our existence as human beings. It allows me to give information about myself or ask for help. It allows me to give credibility to thought by saying it out loud. It allows me to express my interest in the situation of my fellow human beings. Victims speak out. That’s what I do. More and louder!”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto

“I ran to the roadside to ask for help. There was a car coming but it drove right past me”

“Recently I’ve only given help as long as it was asked for. I thought everybody knew what was good for them and if they truly wanted to make a change. Earlier, there was a time when I called the ambulance to an unconscious man. By the time the ambulance arrived, he had got better and took my intention to help amiss. As a result, I’ve been reluctant to risk offering my help if the situation wasn’t obvious. This case made me modify my opinion: we are responsible for what we are aware of. Just because someone can’t ask for help, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to change.
Information means responsibility! I take it!”
Information means responsibility! I take it!”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto

“We washed the bloody clothes the next day”

“My little boy asked me to cover my face so that he could know it was still me. When I was telling him the bedtime story, I took him in my lap with his face away from me so that he could be soothed by my voice and touch, but he wouldn’t see my broken face. When he was “missing” my face, we looked at family holiday photos where all of us were healthy and happy. I’m the same person basking in glory on the podium or lying broken and bloody.

My husband brought the bloody T-shirt home from the hospital and washed it. The nurse hung the bloody, torn running jacket in the wardrobe. I was faced with it when I was packing before I was released from the hospital. I was shocked and shaken by the sight of it. Putting it in the wastebasket instead of my bag was a tiny step in dealing with the trauma. We couldn’t retrieve this piece of evidence from the hospital waste later on. I’ve never worn the shoes since.”

Image credits: sportagvalaszto