April 04, 2018

“My name is Kaylee Drennan, I’m 19 years old, and I’m currently living in Italy as an Au Pair. On October 7th, 2017, my friend Kortney Blatter and I were in Naples on a weekend trip when we were physically attacked by a man.

We were returning to our hotel from the train station when a grown man came running towards us. I was busy figuring out where we needed to go next as we were taking a different route home, but Kortney saw him coming towards us.

The man grabbed me by the throat with one hand, which was very shocking, and tried to yank my phone out of my hand with his other. I started to scream as loud as I could, but in the moment, I didn’t even know it was me. I can still hear the screams, and remember recognizing that they were coming from me.

He jerked me around, and we were both holding onto my phone so tightly that the screen protector cracked in multiple places. I remember seeing other men down the street. It all happened so fast it was a blur. He suddenly let go, and my immediate thought was that he might have a gun or a knife and was going to kill me. This was when I didn’t have a clue what to do.

I turned to Kortney, and for just a moment we stood there. I didn’t even know that the attacker was incapacitated, I remember breathing in some pepper spray, and then realizing that Kortney had sprayed her D.A.D. pepper spray at the man. I told her firmly that we had to go, to which Kortney said she needed help getting off the street because she couldn’t see very well. I grabbed her by the arm and we ran away from the area we had been attacked. Many people down the street had heard my screams, and we were helped into a cafe.

Kortney was receiving so many calls and text messages from her mom, grandparents, host family, and program director. As soon as Kortney sprayed her D.A.D. and stopped the attacker, it immediately alerted her family who were then able to try to contact us to make sure we were ok. I’m forever grateful that Kortney was carrying her D.A.D. that night, and I believe it was because she was prompted to. This situation could have been so much worse, and we feel so extremely grateful that it turned out the way that it did.”

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