The attack, which happened three years ago, was the last of so many others, and it was so horrific that it led to the end of the toxic relationship and saw Deke sentenced to 18 months, with a two-year suspension. Caroline was attacked by her ex-boyfriend following a row.
He strangled her until she almost passed out. He had even grabbed a big kitchen knife and threatened to rape her before saying, “we are going upstairs to die now.”
"Ok, so this isn't going to be a comfortable thing for people to see. But I'm posting this after 3 years as I don't want any girls to have to have their faces rebuilt and their whole lives dictated by abuse. I'm trying really hard not to let my past dictate my future, but it sometimes feels like it does. Like it, ignore it I don't care, but don't let yourself be stuck in a relationship that turns bad and the end results is this.'
"I became a selfie queen. I used to take a picture of my face every day just to see it changing and how I was getting better. I found it so therapeutic. This was a way of telling myself that because I could see my physical scars retreating, I knew my mental ones would too. Then I realised I could help other women by showing them what I had overcome so I posted the pictures on Facebook. The response was overwhelming.”
“Looking back, I feel like an idiot as I’m so not the sort of person to get involved with someone like that. But I thought I could change him."Caroline eventually ended the relationship but let him stay in their home while he looked for somewhere else. She started seeing other men, which raised the tension with her jealous ex. At some point, he forcefully tried to go through her phone though they were no longer together. She refused and as they fought over it she mistakenly knocked him and Deke flipped.
"He pinned me down and strangled me. He was sitting on top of me and I couldn't breathe. He punched me so many times," she said. "He said he was going to rape me and went to the kitchen and picked up a huge knife."