GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s like something out of a horror movie.
“At the age of 78, my grandmother was a victim of sexual assault. A man broke into her home at 3 a.m., kept her hostage for 12 hours, raped her multiple times…it changed her life forever,” said Amber Watson, family member.
Her attacker, Alex Callison, was arrested and sentenced to 88 years in prison for his crimes against Mary Lou Williams. And she never imagined it happening to her.
“She always would say, she never bothered anyone. She didn’t understand why this had happened to her,” Watson said.
She lived in what she thought was a safe community. But the stats are staggering.
One out of every four women in Indiana is sexually assaulted. Males — one out of six.
A woman is raped every six minutes in this country and it is estimated two in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.
“I think a lot of it goes unreported. A lot of people are afraid. It affects both male and female victims. Males especially are afraid to report,” said Lea Ann Camp, chief nursing officer at Greene County General Hospital.
Without reporting, this is the number you’ll see. 97 percent of rapists never see the inside of a jail cell.
Williams died six months after her ordeal.
“Too hard to bear the burden she went through. She just gave up on life,” said Carol Williams, family member.
Her family saying it was just too much for her to bear.
“Every night she lived in fear. I remember, one evening walking in to check on her. She just about jumped out of her skin. She thought I was coming in to get her,” Watson said. “She said she was so scared she kept hearing the door being busted in over and over again.”
They hope their cautionary tale will make you think twice about your safety.
“So many of it goes unreported,” Watson stated. “And there are people that will do it again to other women and the sooner we can put an end to it, then the more lives we’ll save.”
Family members of the victim are now advocates in the fight against sexual assaults.
They attended the event “Walk a mile in their Shoes” hosted by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.
It’s to raise money for sexual assault nurses at Greene County General Hospital so victims won’t have to travel to Bloomington to get immediate help.
For information on sexual abuse hotlines or how you can help, call the 24-hour hotline at 812-336-0846.
For immediate help, always call 911.