A 41-year-old woman took selfies of her bruised face every day as she recovered from a horrific attack by her ex-boyfriend in hopes of inspiring other victims of domestic abuse.
Three years ago Caroline Way, of Axbridge, Somerset, was beaten by Deke Orriss, 39, following an argument. She was left with a broken jaw, cracked eye socket, two black eyes and blurred vision.
As the businesswoman recovered from the attack, she found it therapeutic to watch her wounds change every day, saying it helped heal her ‘mental wounds’.
And now, three years after the attack, she has decided to share photos of her recovery publicly.
Three years ago Caroline Way (left, after the beating, and right in a recent photo), of Axbridge, Somerset, was beaten by Deke Orriss, 39, following an argument. She was left with a broken jaw, cracked eye socket, two black eyes and blurred vision
‘Ok, so this isn’t going to be a comfortable thing for people to see,’ she wrote on Facebook in a post of four photos of her bruised face.
She added: ‘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.’
Way said that she became a ‘selfie queen’ during her recovery.
‘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,’ she said.
She added: ‘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.’
Way first met Orriss when she was 30 years old and brushed off his past heroin use and grievous bodily harm (GBH) conviction.
After years of being together, Way ended the relationship in 2014 but let Orriss stay in her home while he looked for a new place to live. It was shortly after the breakup that Orriss attacked Way
She said she thought she ‘could change him’, but later felt ‘like an idiot’ getting involved with such a person.
After years of being together, Way ended the relationship in 2014 but let Orriss stay in her home while he looked for a new place to live.
When she started seeing other men, Orriss became jealous.
She said the former couple had a fight over her phone because he wanted to look at it, and she ‘knocked him accidentally’, which caused Orriss to flip.
‘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,’ she added.
Way said that Orriss grabbed a kitchen knife and told her they were ‘going upstairs to die now’.
But as they went upstairs, Way saw her beaten face in the mirror and started to laugh because she didn’t recognise herself.
‘It was that reaction that made him switch back and he started crying,’ she said.
Orriss was arrested following the incident and admitted to GBH. He was sentenced to 18 months, with a two-year suspension.
As for Way, her face has healed, and she hopes that her story will help inspire other domestic abuse victims healing from their own wounds.