Alison Botha Survived Being Suffocated, Disemboweled, And Nearly Beheaded
After a night out with friends in December 1994, Alison Botha was abducted near her home in Port Elizabeth (now known as Gqeberha), South Africa. She was subsequently sexually violated, stabbed, suffocated, nearly beheaded, and essentially disemboweled.
Botha's neck was cut more than 15 times and she had over 30 knife wounds to her torso when she was left to perish. She recalled,
All I could see was an arm moving above my face. Left and right and left and right. His movements were making a sound. A wet sound, it was the sound of my flesh being slashed open. He was cutting my throat with the knife. Again and again and again. It felt unreal but it wasn’t. I felt no pain, but it was not a dream. This was happening. The man was slashing my throat.
But Botha scrawled the names of her attackers in the dirt nearby and made her way to the closest road. Botha later explained, "I realized my life was too valuable to let go... and that gave me the courage to survive."
Botha was taken to the hospital, where doctors were shocked to see the severity of her problems. She survived, then went on to identify the men who harmed her and testified against them at trial. Now an advocate for survivors of sexual cruelty, Botha said the incident "put me on this path [to] help inspire other people."
She tells her story in the 2016 documentary Alison.