Delaware woman says she was beaten, left for dead at Dominican Republic resort

Delaware woman describes resort attack
Delaware woman describes resort attack 05:27

A Delaware woman who says she was severely beaten at a resort is telling her story in public for the first time. Tammy Lawrence-Daley says in January, she was attacked by a stranger inside the resort where she was staying in the Dominican Republic.

"It's very difficult, very difficult reliving," Lawrence-Daley said. "I could hear footfalls behind me. And before I could turn around, he plowed into the back of me."

Tammy Lawrence-Daley was on vacation with her husband at the Majestic Elegance Resort in the Dominican Republic when she says she went downstairs alone one night in search of a snack. Then the man attacked her.

The man, Lawrence-Daley says, was wearing a resort uniform. She tried to fight him off, but after he strangled her she lost consciousness.

"When I came to, it was to him beating me," Lawrence-Daley said. "About the head. Kicking me and beating me."

It was hours before people at the resort found her in an underground crawl space. She was brought to the hospital with severe facial injuries. After months of physical and emotional recovery she says she is finally sharing her story as a warning to others.

"You just have a feeling of safety and a feeling of, you know, paradise, but this can happen," Lawrence-Daley said. "It has happened and it will happen again."

More than 80% of women who travel alone for work say they've had at least one safety-related concern. In February, CBS News spoke to a woman who was sexually assaulted by a stranger who deceived the front desk into giving him her room key.

CBS News recently sat down with Jen Ruiz, Jeanmarie Campbell and Nneya Richards, who are all frequent solo travelers for pleasure and work.

"I've had times where I've put some things up against the door just so I would feel comfortable going to sleep at night in a hotel," Richards told "CBS This Morning Saturday" co-host Dana Jacobson.

And it's not just at hotels and resorts.

"I personally was attacked by an Uber driver on the way to the airport in Argentina," Ruiz said.

Ruiz says while on vacation in Argentina, her driver pulled over on the side of the road, forced himself on her, and kissed her. She never reported it.

"I really, just, I had a sense of shame associated with it where I blamed myself," Ruiz said.

Lawrence-Daley says she's blamed herself too.

"I just, if I didn't go down there by myself, it wouldn't have happened," Lawrence-Daley said. "I wouldn't have put my family through that."

Lawrence-Daley's attacker has not been found. She says the police investigation led nowhere and the hotel has not taken any responsibility for what happened.

"I really hate the way they handled everything," Lawrence-Daley said.