Kickass Woman Of The Day: Adele Barber Bit Off Part Of A Sexual Attacker’s Tongue For DNA Evidence
When Adele Barber was sexually assaulted on her way home from the doctor’s office one evening, she, despite her understandable terror, thought fast. In an interview with ITV, Barber, of Dunstable, England, said, “As soon as he pushed me up against the fence he tried to kiss me and forced his tongue into my mouth. I thought, right, this left him vulnerable. I was just going to bite down as hard as I can, it will show it’s not consensual in anyway, shape or form, get as much DNA as I can and try and cause enough pain to get this guy off me. I didn’t know I would get to bite a bit off the end of his tongue but I knew I would try and get some DNA in my teeth.”
Barber caught a bit of her attacker’s flesh between her teeth and then escaped, hightailing it home and calling police immediately, who advised her to put the tongue in a sterile pot. Two months later, the DNA evidence helped nail her attacker, Ferdinand Manila, when he caught committing other offenses. He was convicted of three counts of sexual assault, but was not allowed to enter a plea deal due to mental health issues, and he was sent to a psychiatric facility. In a pretty incredible show of empathy, Barber said she was glad that her quick-thinking led to her attacker being caught so that he can get the help he needs.
“The most important thing is to get as much evidence as you can,” she advised other sexual assault survivors. “Obviously in that situation you can’t control what your body does, you can freeze. But you can fight back as much as you can and get to the police as quickly as you can.”
I want to note that while I think Barber is an incredibly brave woman with a bad ass bite, victims should do what they need to in order to simply survive the attack, even if that means not fighting back — because the rapist has a weapon, because the victim is frozen in terror, or because she literally fears for her life. Like Barber, I strongly encourage victims to go to a hospital or the police as soon as they can so an exam can be done and a rape kit can be tested for evidence and then hopefully used to put the attacker behind bars. (Note: This does not mean I judge those victims who don’t go to the authorities.) [Buzzfeed]