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A model has recounted the terrifying moment her ex-boyfriend stabbed her in the leg and said he would cut her body into pieces after claiming she'd "looked at another man".
Yvonne Bar, 26, from Frankfurt, Germany, first met Tim* in 2011 through mutual friends and the two quickly became an item.
“I had a crush on him right from the beginning, he was so funny and sweet,” she says.
“We would spend all of our time together but he could get quite jealous about stuff, like if I talked to a guy.
“He was always very protective of me. I never thought he would get violent.
"I thought he loved me and we would be together forever.”
Yvonne says that Tim would get irritated when she spent time with her friends, accusing her of neglecting him and saying that they were a “bad influence".
She said: “He would tell me that they were not my real friends and I should give up all contact with them.
“I didn’t take much notice of it really, I just thought that was him and if I showed him that I loved him he would stop.
“If anyone spoke to me while we were out, Tim would give them evil looks.
"Once, we were on a bus and I talked to a guy sitting next to me with his baby.
“After we got off, he got super aggressive and said the guy had been trying to flirt with me and that I was encouraging him.”
As Tim’s abusive behaviour escalated, Yvonne’s friends begged her to end things and told her they didn’t feel comfortable around him.
She said: “I loved him and I knew that he had this sweet side that they couldn’t see, so I tried to make things work between us.”
However, things took a much darker turn one day when the couple returned home after visiting Yvonne’s family.
She said: “We’d just got back to my home and everything seemed quite normal.
"After dinner we sat down to watch some TV and started talking about the day.
“Tim said that there was a moment where I’d supposedly looked at some guy, but I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I started getting upset and got up to go to my bedroom."
But then Tim went from abusive to violent: "As I walked down the hallway he came up behind me and threw me to the floor.
“It was such a shock. He turned me over on the ground and started hitting me, beating my face.
“It happened so quickly, I don’t even remember feeling much pain even though I could tell he’d broken my nose and knocked several teeth out.
"I had so much adrenaline in me that it blocked a lot of the sensation out.
“He dragged me by my hair all the way to another room and I kept asking him what was going on.
“Tim started screaming that he had stabbed me and I was going to die, he told me that after I was dead he would cut me into pieces and bury me somewhere.
“I couldn’t feel it at first and then I felt a pain in my leg. It was agony.
“I remember thinking how sad I was that I couldn’t say goodbye to my mum – I just wanted to see her again.”
Yvonne was trapped with her attacker all through the night and says the thing that ultimately saved her life was that she didn’t scream or try to get away.
She said: “I tried to stay as calm as possible and to talk to him about how we would get through this and that I wouldn’t tell anybody about what he’d done.
“He kept telling me to close my eyes and go to sleep but I stayed awake and kept asking him to take me to hospital.
“I had a deep slash in my leg, a cut on my face, bruises everywhere, a broken nose and several teeth missing. He’d also slashed my bed and stabbed my laptop."
Tim finally agreed to take Yvonne to hospital, but stayed close by so she was too scared to tell the nurses what had happened.
A few days later, however, Yvette managed to get away from Tim long enough to alert the police about the attack.
She said: “They arrested him and the case ended up going to court where he was found guilty, but he only got a three-year suspended sentence – no prison time.
“The justice system in Germany is very weak and I feel as though the court punished me more than it did him.”
For years, Yvette was too ashamed to talk about the attack or to date anyone new, but says she is now in a much better place.
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She added: “It definitely affected any relationship I had following that one.
“I hated to be alone with a male person for a long time, I couldn’t sleep one night straight for years either.
“I would panic in even relaxed situations but I hate to be around men that are passive aggressive or drunk.
"I am feeling good now but sometimes I still get feelings of anxiety about everything.
"Luckily I am very strong mentally. I'm single at the moment but I'm in no rush to meet anyone just yet."
For any fellow women who are worried for their safety, Yvonne added: “My advice to anyone worried that their partner is controlling them is to get out.
"If you’re already suspecting it, then they're already doing it.”
*Yvonne requested that her attacker's real name was not used in this article
If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247
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