On July 4, 2018, at around 11 p.m., a 37-year-old Upper West Side woman was brutally attacked on Central Park West near 84th Street, just steps from her home. The following day, police arrested Desmond Smith, 32, a resident of The Skyway Men’s Shelter Annex at 106 West 83rd Street, charging him with attempted rape, two counts of sexual abuse, strangulation, and assault.
And the news cycle moved on.
For the woman who was assaulted, the recovery process has been excruciating. Both her breastbone and face, including both eye sockets, were broken in multiple places. She also suffered internal damage to her throat, and cuts and bruises all over her body.
Michelle Marck, a neighbor and friend, set up a GoFundMe account to help the woman, a student, pay her out-of-pocket medical bills. “We met through our dogs and are neighborhood friends,” Marck, an attorney, said. “I’m trying to help her because it is the right thing to do for your friend and someone in your community.” Marck set up a GoFundMe campaign for the victim at the following link.
The woman explained more in an email to West Side Rag:
“It took less than ten minutes for my life to change that night. Physically it has been a long, slow, painful recovery and on top of that is the emotional aftermath of the attack. And I deal with that daily. I am now always weary and on alert, constantly assessing my safety.
I’ve lost the sense of security I used to enjoy in this neighborhood, am easily startled and remain frightened to go out alone after dark. As winter approaches it is getting dark earlier, which further limits the hours during which I feel safe being outside. The attack has fundamentally changed how I live my life.”
The GoFundMe had raised $5,625 as of Monday morning. Click here to see the campaign, which includes an image of the victim after the attack.