true crime

The face of domestic abuse: Woman shares daily photos of her healing wounds to help others.

Warning: This article details a case of domestic violence.

When Caroline Way saw the horrific injuries her ex-boyfriend had just inflicted, she began to laugh – a reaction that may have just saved her life.

Her former partner Deke Orriss was dragging her to the bedroom, threatening to kill her when she caught sight of her face in a mirror. He had beaten her so badly the 41-year-old UK woman didn’t recognise herself.

“It was that reaction that made him switch back and he started crying,” she said.

Three years on, and Caroline is sharing the photographs she took every day of her healing face on Facebook in the hopes that her story will inspire other women to seek help.

A snapshot of the dozens of selfies Caroline Way took following her attack. (Images via Facebook.)

The attack had left the woman from Axbridge, Somerset with a broken jaw, cracked eye socket, two black eyes and blurred vision.

Caroline said she had found taking the series of selfies, which show her bruises deepen to a dark purple then fade, therapeutic as she watched herself heal.

"Ok, so this isn't going to be a comfortable thing for people to see,' she wrote in a Facebook post accompanied by four photos of her bruised face.

"But I'm posting this after three 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 result is this."

Caroline had ended her relationship with Orriss in 2014, but allowed him to stay in her home while he looked for a new place to live, The Mirror reports.

When she began dating other men, her former partner became jealous and flew into a rage one day during an argument. Orriss was trying to look at her phone when Caroline says she "knocked him accidentally" and he attacked.

"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 told The Mirror.

"He said he was going to rape me and went to the kitchen and picked up a huge knife."

"I don't want any girls to have to have their faces rebuilt and their whole lives dictated by abuse." (Image via Caroline Way.)

Orriss began dragging Caroline upstairs, telling her she was going to die, and it was then that she caught sight of her swollen and bloodied face and began to laugh, which caused Orriss to stop.

Caroline was admitted to hospital and had to have her facial reconstruction surgery.

She pressed charges and her former partner pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, for which he was given an 18-month suspended sentence.

Caroline told The Mirror the response to her Facebook post has been "overwhelming".

"(Taking photos) 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."

For 24-hour assistance call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT (that’s 1800 737 732).