CLIVE, Iowa–Cindy Axne, a West Des Moines businesswoman and Iowa Third District Democratic Congressional candidate, went public with her story about how she fought off an attempted rapist three decades ago in Chicago.
"This stuff happens more than we would like it to," Axne said, "I was lucky that I was able to fight my way out of it."
Axne said that she had been out with friends in the late 1980s when she worked in Chicago. She had to work in the morning, so she left on her own to walk back to her apartment. A stranger approached her from behind with a knife and tried to assault her. "I'm six feet tall," Axne said, which she believes helped her fight off the attacker.
She had also been walking with her key in her hand, which she could use as a defensive weapon. Axne said the incident becomes even more poignant these days during the #MeToo movement, where women are coming forward with their own stories of sexual assault.
"Women shouldn't have to be walking defensively to stay safe and women shouldn't be forced to be in these positions," Axne lamented.
The attacker fled after Axne freed herself.