Mom Who Survived Brutal Dominican Republic Attack: ‘This Is My Fault’

June 1, 2019 Updated: June 1, 2019

A Delaware woman who survived a brutal attack in the Dominican Republic said that what happened was her fault.

Tammy Lawrence-Daley, 51, said she was beaten and left for dead while on vacation at an all-inclusive resort in the country, which borders Haiti in the Caribbean.

“I internalize this. ‘This is my fault, I got myself into this situation,’” she told People magazine. “I feel horrendous that I put my husband and my friends through this situation. Their lives are changed forever, as well as mine.”

“Because I internalize everything and blame myself for the situation, I want to make sure that others who have gone through similar situations don’t blame themselves,” Lawrence-Daley added. “That they realize that we didn’t ask for this, we didn’t cause this. This was somebody else deciding to do this and we have to find ourselves blameless in this whole situation.”

The mother spoke out after sharing her story on Facebook about five months after being attacked.

She said that she wrote the post to warn others to keep their guard while walking alone in unfamiliar places.

Lawrence-Daley said that the incident happened while she, her husband, and their best friends were on vacation at the Majestic Elegance resort in the Dominican Republic.

She said after a night out with her friends she became hungry and called for room service but was unsuccessful. So she decided to head downstairs to her building’s lounge to get a snack.

“I ended up bypassing the lounge in our building and opted to go to the lounge in the next building, which was on the beach,” she wrote. “I thought I could get some pictures of the moon on the water, but I never made it to the beach.”

She said while she was going through the rotunda between the building she noticed that it was “eerily quiet.” She then heard footsteps and was suddenly grabbed from behind before she was attacked.

“His arms wrapped around me and he started pulling me immediately into an unlocked maintenance room,” Lawrence-Daley wrote.

“The next 8 hours brought me pain and fear. I was strangled multiple times to unconsciousness,” she said. “My lifeless body was [dragged] down concrete stairs to an underground wastewater area. I was kicked in the head, I was beaten with a club. And then strangled again for the kill.”

The Facebook post later appeared to be removed from the website.

She told People that the area where she was dragged was a “hole.”

“I call it a hole because that’s what it felt like when I was in it,” she said. “I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t stand up and I couldn’t find my way out… I had no clue where I was. All I knew was I was in this hole basically buried alive.”

She was there for about eight hours while her husband and friends frantically searched for her, later saying hotel staff insisted that she was somewhere passed out from drinking too much.

Lawrence-Daley said that the attacker left her for dead. At some point, her survival instinct kicked in.

“It’s a crazy thing when you’re in that mindset. It’s the survival mechanism kicks in and says, ‘I’m not going down without a fight,’” Lawrence-Daley added. When she finally heard voices, she called for help and they found her.

She was rushed to a local clinic for treatment. Her injuries included a broken nose, a fractured hand, and a “ripped apart” mouth. She told ABC 6 that she’s undergone six surgeries since the attack.

Lawrence-Daley urged people to “be smart, be safe” in unfamiliar places.

“This man thought he killed me, but he failed. He is still out there, a predator, waiting for his next victim,” she said.

“It’s not safe. Not safe for women to walk alone, walk with somebody else,” she told ABC 6.

Majestic Resorts said in a statement that, “Since the occurrence of this regrettable event, we have treated Mrs. Lawrence-Daley’s situation with due diligence and attention.”

“Majestic Resorts condemns and rejects any type of violence and, in pursuit of resolving this isolated case, we refrain from making any comment out of respect for Mrs. Lawrence-Daley’s dignity and integrity.”

Lawrence-Daley said that the man who assaulted her was wearing a hotel uniform.

The resort said that it was working with local law enforcement but the victim told People she was told the case would not be resolved.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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