The victim of Jarryd Hayne delivered a powerful victim impact statement in the Newcastle District Court on Thursday, as the former NRL star was sentenced to five years and nine months in jail.
The woman – who has not been named – was 26 years old when Hayne assaulted her in her Newcastle home while a taxi waited outside, leaving her bleeding from her genitals.
“I felt dirty and violated,” she said, according to reporters who were at the court.
“He made me feel like an object and was looking straight through me.
“My vagina was stinging in a throb-like sensation and I couldn’t understand or fully comprehend that he had just done that to me. I sat on my bed hugging my knees and staring into nothingness.”
She said the assault left her in a state of “devastation – mentally, physically socially and academically”.
“I don’t remember the last time I had a proper night’s sleep,” she said.
“The violation I experienced was the shameful feeling of letting someone I don’t know come into my home, was and is almost too hard to cope with.
“I trusted him based on who I thought he was. He definitely was not.”
She added that she “wanted to scream” when she saw what was being written about her on social media, describing it as “the most helpless feeling”.
“No matter what happened before or after the assault, no matter who he was or what he’s done, no means no,” she said.
She also said that she came forward to give hope to other victims.
“At the beginning of this someone said to me you may be scared, but you could be the key for other people who don’t feel strong enough,” she said.
“I’ve kept it together as best I can. I feel I’ve walked through fire.”
Jarryd Hayne maintains his innocence. He will spend at least three years and eight months behind bars, meaning he will not be eligible for parole until at least January 2025.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.