A woman who faced rape sends out an encouraging message to all women: “Keep fighting.”
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Florida, released a frightening video on February 15 of a woman fending off a sexual assault. But the outcome has been that women everywhere have been encouraged.
The video of Nashali Alma’s escape went viral on Twitter, where it’s been played over 5 million times.
It was on January 22, 2023, that Alma, 24, was working out alone in the gym at her apartment complex. She saw a man standing outside the front door and she let the man in and started the workout again.
After just a few minutes, he approached her generating fear.
“As soon as he was approaching me, I pushed him. I said, ‘Bro, what the F are you doing? Get away from me, stop trying to touch me,’” Alma said in the video. “He started chasing me around the bench, and we ended up on the other side of the gym.”
The two began fighting and the alleged attacker, Xavier Thomas-Jones, 25, eventually got Alma on the ground. She simply refused to stop fighting back and she used all four limbs to kick, grab, and punch her attacker.
Finally, Jones stopped and Alma ran out of the gym to a nearby apartment she then called 911.
Within 24 hours, Thomas-Jones was apprehended by law enforcement and he faces charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment, and kidnapping.
“I was disgusted by the suspect’s actions, how he preyed on this young woman,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a press release. “This woman’s strength, courage, and determination are inspiring. I know that her bravery to share this story will impact the lives of many other women.”
Alma is now urging women everywhere to do what she did.
“I would tell every woman always to keep fighting, never give up,” Alma said. “As long as you fight back and show him that you’re strong and you’re not giving up, I believe it’s possible to escape.”
“It’s better to reach out to law enforcement sooner than later,” she continued. “The sooner they have the information, the sooner they can catch that person.”
A woman shares her experience after fighting off a man who physically assaulted her in her apartment complex's gym.
Nashali Alma wanted to speak out about her experience to encourage other women who've dealt with similar incidents to speak out. pic.twitter.com/hyTeO3quRA
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) February 15, 2023