Melissa has said that she wants her story to be heard, so that she might “make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Melissa Schuster was unloading groceries from her car one Saturday afternoon when a blue Altima backed into her driveway. Londale Madison got out of the car and asked Melissa for money. After she told him she didn’t have any money to give him, she went into her house and locked her door. But Londale was persistent. He knocked on the door, again asking her for money. And again, Melissa refused. That is when he pushed the door open and attacked her. He hit her, forced her into the shower, raped her, and stabbed her 17 times. He then took her purse and her cell phone and left her for dead.
Melissa thought her last moments would be spent in that shower. Alone and scared, she remembers thinking, “This is it. I’m not going to make it. I’m gonna to die.”
“But then I told myself, ‘No, I’m not going to let this person overcome me.’” Melissa said.
“I was terrified, but I was not going to give up.”
She ran out of her house and made it to her neighbor’s door. “She was covered head to toe with blood,” the neighbor said. “My husband put a blanket around her and ran outside to see if he could find who had done this to her.”
Londale was found, arrested, and charged with one count of attempted first degree murder, one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count of home invasion and one count of armed robbery–all are felony charges. If he is found guilty on all counts, he will be facing a maximum of 120 years in prison.
“I want to see him put away for a very long time,” Melissa said. And it is quite likely she will, as he has plead guilty to the crimes.
Though many media outlets typically do not release the names sexual assault victims, Melissa has said that she wants her story to be heard, so that she might “make a difference in someone else’s life.” When she was released from the hospital a week after the attack, she spoke with press, saying that the hope of helping others is part of her healing process.
Melissa said that the first time she looked in the mirror after the attack was heartbreaking, but then she “realized it’s just the beginning.”
“Talking about what happened is a relief, part of my recovery,” she said. “I have been talking about it since day one.”
She is strong.
She is inspiring.
She is hopeful.
She is beautiful.
And she won.
“I defeated him,” said Melissa. “He tried to take everything away from me but I won in the end. I did not give up.”