A former Australian surfing star has bravely opened up about her horrific ordeal after she was kidnapped and raped every night for two months in India.
Carmen Greentree, 37, from Sydney shared the harrowing details about her horrific experiences in her new book ‘A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness.’
In the book, she tells how her dream trip to India in 2004 turned into a nightmare when was abducted after seeking help from a local to find her way to Dharamshala. She was forced onto a houseboat where she was raped multiple times and beaten whenever she asked to be freed.
“I didn’t think I was ever getting off that boat, I thought I would die there one way or another,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
Carmen, who dreamt of being a surfing world champion and also represent her country across the globe for competitions, took a break from the sport after failing to qualify for the world tour at 22. It was at that time she took a sabbatical to India where she went through hell.
“I got really devastated and lost,” she told 9 News. “For seven years of my life I was 100 percent, morning to night, solely focused on being world champion.
“Nothing else mattered more than that. It was an escape from life.”
The married mum-of-three said she wrote about the ordeal in her book to help combat her demons.
She also revealed that a Brit backpacker has since told her he was kidnapped and extorted on the same boat.
Carmen told the Mail: “I had travelled so much that I was used to winging it.”
Her ordeal started when she was approached by a stranger who offered to take her to someone who could arrange her journey to Dharamshala. Unknown to her, she was tricked into flying to Kashmir where she was met by a man who said it would be safer to stay with him.
She said the man told her it would be best to spend the night on his houseboat on Dal Lake before jumping on a bus to Dharamshala, where she was booked into a course at the Dalai Lama’s ashram.
After days fighting him off for her release, she soon realised that she had been trapped on the squalid boat.
“It was constant pressure from the moment I got there. He was never going to let me go,” she revealed.
“The worst feeling was when I gave in and let him take what he wanted,” she said.
“That was the first time he raped me. I was too tired, I couldn’t fight anymore, and I knew he wasn’t going to stop.”
“I lost track of how many times he raped me.”
Carmen also explained that captor told her the boat – the YH Sunbeam – was in the middle of a militarised zone so she would be shot if she tried to escape.
“I wish I had tried to swim to shore but I was terrified that he caught me he would do even more terrible things to me,” she said.
Also on the boat were the man’s parents, two brothers, his wife, and their baby. Carmen said she was also made to wear traditional muslim clothing and ate daily meals with the family.
“They bought me a rug and heavily encouraged me to pray five times a day and gave me a Koran with English translations to learn,” she revealed.
According to her, she was rescued when one of her friends had a dream that she was in trouble and contacted the Australian High Commission.
At that period, she said her captor also forced her to make a phone call from the boat asking her parents to send money and gave their location away.
Police boats quickly arrived and armed officers stormed the houseboat to rescue her, while they arrested her captor and one of his brothers.
The men were never brought to court as Carmen was too traumatised to testify against them.
“I was supposed to go back to India and give evidence in court but I couldn’t go through with it, I wish I had,” she said.
It’s believed the suspects who were charged with rape, spent six months in jail before they were released when the case collapsed.