By: Extra Ordinary Women <||> Alison is best known for the ordeal she suffered in December 1994, when an extraordinary event took place in Alison’s ordinary life. She was abducted by two men and taken to the outskirts of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, where they raped and brutally assaulted her. She was stabbed in the abdomen more than 30 times and her throat was slit from side to side. The men left her for dead in the bushes, the full moon looking down on her barely recognisable body. Somehow she was able to use the light of the moon to find her way back to the road where she collapsed. A car finally stopped and found the near-dead Alison. Despite the odds, she lived.
Since the ordeal, Alison has received numerous awards, including the Rotarian Paul Harris Award for Courage Beyond the Norm. She was named Femina magazine’s first “Woman of Courage” in 1995 and was honored as her hometown of Port Elizabeth’s Citizen of the Year in 1995 for her contributions to the community. Her career changed as she began sharing her story, and she became one of South Africa’s most sought-after public speakers. She has traveled all over the country and to over 30 others internationally, sharing with her audiences the horror of being physically attacked, then offering insight into her own recovery and the power of inner strength. In 1998, ‘I Have Life’, Alison’s first-person account of her ordeal and recovery, was published by Penguin Books, South Africa, and has been a best-seller ever since throughout the country. ‘I Have Life’ has been translated into seven languages in Europe.
Physicians call her survival a medical miracle, but perhaps the true miracle has been how she has chosen to deal with the experience. Rather than becoming bitter, she uses her experience as an example of the power of the human spirit. For Alison, it has become her personal mission to make a difference in other people’s lives. She believes that although we don’t always get to control what happens in our lives, we always get to control what we do about it. People around the world are inspired after hearing Alison’s message, inspired to believe in the strength within each one of us to overcome the obstacles on our own life’s journeys.