Katie Walker from Bootle shows photos of bruises after domestic abuse by her boyfriend

Domestic violence victim, 35, shares harrowing photos of her bruises after he ex-boyfriend kicked her in the head repeatedly in a vicious attack that left her in hospital for three months as surgeons rebuilt her face

A domestic abuse survivor has shared pictures of the horrendous injuries she suffered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, which left her needing facial reconstruction.

Katie Walker, 35, of Bootle, had been seeing her former partner for nine months in 2011 when he launched the senseless attack on her. 

Her injuries were so bad it looked as though she had been in a car crash. 

She was left unconscious on the floor after he punched her in the head and kicked her repeatedly in a fit of rage. 

Miss Walker suffered shattered cheekbones, a shattered eye socket, broken jaw, broken nose, a fractured skull and a puncture to her thigh.

She has bravely shared the images in a warning to other women about the dangers of abusive relationships.

Her attacker was sentenced to five years in prison but for his ex-girlfriend the effects of the attack have had a lifelong impact. 

Doctors told her that they didn‘t know how she had managed to escape serious brain damage after she suffered serious head injuries.

She spent a further three months in hospital as surgeons painstakingly reconstructed her face using metal plates to keep her facial features in place.  

But now Miss Walker, who runs her own beauty salon, has spoken out about her battle to recover from the physical and mental scars and how it changed her life forever.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, she said: ‘At first I was blind to the signs of his controlling behaviour that had been going on before he attacked me.

‘He would always kick off if I wanted to see friends and family. He would have fits of rage and throw things

‘He also controlled me financially by giving me money. I never realised that this was a form of control until later – when I received counselling.

‘On the day of the attack, we‘d had a few drinks but not too many but when we got home he became really agitated. I didn‘t feel threatened at the time because he had never hit me before.

‘When I think back to what happened it feels like a horror fillm. He punched me so hard I fell off my chair.

‘All I remember was lying on the floor and he was standing over me screaming at me.

‘When I came round my face was dripping with so much blood. I ran out the house and knocked on a neighbour‘s door and they locked the door behind me.

‘Doctors said that my injuries were like a car crash impact. It was because he kicked my head while I was unconscious but I only found out about when I was in hospital.

She spent a further three months in hospital as surgeons painstakingly reconstructed her face using metal plates to keep her facial features in place

‘After the attack I was in and out of hospital for three to four months having reconstructive facial surgery and metal plates put in my face.‘

After spending three months in hospital, Miss Walker found it difficult to readjust to her everyday life. 

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She moved across the city to try and get a fresh start but suffered from panic attacks and found it difficult to leave the house.

She said: ‘I wasn‘t talking to anyone about it. I moved back in with my mum after I left hospital.

‘I felt like I had to escape. I moved to the other side of Liverpool to try and start again but that made it worse as I felt so isolated and I didn‘t know anyone.‘

‘I started having counselling. After the second session, I remember coming home and I had a massive panic attack because I thought he was outside the house.

‘I locked myself in the house and spent days and days inside the house. I wasn‘t telling my friends how I was feeling.‘

For the 35-year-old, things started to change when she met her husband back in 2012 who helped her to begin to overcome her lasting trauma.

She said: ‘Things got a lot better when I met my husband in 2012. He helped me to deal with it all.

‘I would have panic attacks in my sleep and he would calm me down, especially when my attacker was released from prison. ‘

But it was her decision to share her story on social media that introduced her to other domestic abuse survivors and inspired her to do something to help those who had suffered like she did.

She said: ‘In 2015 I decided to share my story on social media to take back control of my life. Up until then I hadn‘t spoken to many people about what happened to me.‘

‘At first it was hard to open up. At the time people didn‘t speak as openly about domestic violence.

‘But when I began to meet other women who had suffered violence and I began to speak to other people about it changed how I felt.

‘Helping others helped me to get over my trauma. It helped me search inside for a purpose and that‘s when I knew I wanted to do something that helps victims of domestic abuse.

‘Women who might be suffering abuse at the moment need to know that they‘re not alone.

‘There is light at the end of the tunnel and things will get better when you reach out for help.

‘It took me years to get to where I am today and stop asking questions to myself about why it happened.‘

She has now set up her own charity, KatieCares, which provides support to victims of domestic abuse.

Miss Walker is currently raising money to open a domestic abuse centre above her salon in Walton, Merseyside. 

She said: ‘The plan is to open a centre to house my charity. I want to run a course to help the victims of domestic abuse recover, to support women who need help to cope with the after effects.

‘In my experience, it was afterwards that I needed support the most and I feel sometimes that is lacking.

‘I want to combine lots of different elements into the course. 

‘It will include counselling, life coaching, financial and legal advice, as well as pampering.

‘It‘s all about rebuilding your self worth after something like that. I felt so down after I had counselling so I want to offer something that will leave women feeling more positive.‘  

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