CAN there be anybody who still fails to understand the impact rape has on those who survive it?

If there are, let them read the words of the survivor whose story we tell today.

“I was a different person before this,” she told us. “I was always the person who would be sociable and talk to strangers, I was confident and now I’m scared to go out and I always need someone with me.”

In a just world those heart-rending sentences would be required reading for every lawmaker, judge and lawyer.

The predator who attacked this young woman near The Parade in the early hours of September 14 remains at large. For six weeks, therefore, no woman has been safe from him and no woman will be safe from him until he is under lock and key.

We hope the rapist heeds the warnings of the police and turns himself in, but we suspect he won’t as cowardice is invariably part of such men’s psychological make-up.

For this reason, we urge all of our readers to study the description of the man very carefully and search their minds for any information which might be useful to the investigation.

As we have pointed out before, no potential witness should worry that they are wasting officers’ time, no matter how scant the information they possess. It is all vital.