Police say the 42-year-old woman was picked up by a man in the Downtown Eastside March 4 and driven to a secluded area where the man tied her and beat her.
The woman managed to partially free herself and jump from the van, but was dragged for a time.
Several people saw the woman being dragged and called 911, but by the time officers arrived, the suspect had fled.
Police describe the assailant as a balding, tanned white man with a moustache or goatee and a possible Australian accent.
The vehicle was a white panel van with roof racks.