In February 1992 Merlyn Nuttall was hurrying to work early one morning, heading for Brixton tube station as usual. Then a man appeared, apparently in need of help for his girlfriend. She followed him and within minutes he was forcing her at knifepoint into an empty end-of-terrace house. Forty-five minutes later, naked, bleeding from throat slashes and near death, Merlyn was on the front steps of the house, trying to summon help. She survived the horrific rape and attempted murder but her fight for recovery and to gain compensation, brought her against some surprising areas of resistance - including the refusal of the NHS to pay for plastic surgery on her neck scars. Here she tells her story with the aim of helping other victims, men and women - navigate the complex, sometimes indifferent, system as well as to provide vital information for those who care for victims.