The Tragic And Inspiring Story Of A Female Australian Surfer Who Was Kidnapped And Raped In India - Stab Mag

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Carmen describes her experience in detail in her recently published memoir, 'A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness'.

The Tragic And Inspiring Story Of A Female Australian Surfer Who Was Kidnapped And Raped In India

Carmen Greentree releases her memoir.

elsewhere // Sep 30, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Carmen Greentree had her eyes set on a World Title as an adolescent.

She describes herself as being “a competitive, determined and driven young girl. A perfectionist.” When she was 21 Carmen moved to the surf industry hub of the Gold Coast to surround herself with other young, hungry professionals – including Steph Gilmore, who she trained and traveled with around the globe on the QS.

“I wanted to learn through osmosis”, she says on the podcast, Turn Up The Talk.

After narrowly missing out on tour qualification in 2004, the 22-year-old took a sabbatical to India to learn from the Dalai Lama. But her adventure in the subcontinent quickly became a nightmare when she accepted help from a local in finding her way to Kashmir, in the country’s north.

She was taken to a houseboat which became her prison cell for the next two months as her captor sexually abused her repeatedly.

“I lost track of how many times he raped me. I’ve blocked it out so much I don’t remember most of (the assaults) anymore,” she told the Daily Mail last year. “I was completely broken, I wasn’t even me anymore. I was existing as a shell. The worst feeling was when I gave in and let him take what he wanted.”

Greentree was made to call her parents in Australia to ask for money and was robbed of thousands of dollars. But the phone calls proved a costly mistake for her captor because they allowed police to track her location. The two men were arrested but never faced charges after Greentree chose not to return to India to testify.

Greentree says she has “nothing but compassion and sadness” for the man who raped her and is sharing her story 16 years on as an inspiring message about the power of healing in her memoir, A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness. 

“I believe that so many of us have gone through our own tragic experiences and at times we don’t believe we can heal,” Carmen told 9 News.

“I’ve written my book to show how I’ve learned and how I’ve healed. I want people to read it and hope they can create a good life regardless of what’s happened.”

You can buy the book, here.


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