In February 2014, Chantelle Ward, 19, thought her lip had been bitten off by her now-ex boyfriend, Rhys Culley.
Culley had reportedly snapped when Ward tried to end their 2-year relationship, and he ended up brutally beating his girlfriend. Ward, who lives in the U.K., told jurors at the trial that he asked her if she loved him and went in to kiss her before trying to bite off her top lip.
She survived the attack, but suffered bloody bruises, extensive scratches, and a very badly bitten lip. Culley was sentenced to eight years in prison in November of 2014 for the assault.
As she recovered, Ward nearly ended up becoming a recluse. She was afraid of going outside because of the terrible scarring from her attack. She was convinced that her aspirations of becoming a model were done for … but not anymore.
Now, a little over a year after her brutal assault, Ward is using her platform as a candidate for the Miss GB North East beauty pageant as a way to bring the issue of domestic violence to light. In interviews, Ward has said that she didn’t realize that Culley had also been mentally abusing her throughout their relationship until she began attending counseling sessions after they broke up.
She told reporters that she wants to help raise awareness — not just of physical violence, but of mental and emotional abuse, like the kinds she reportedly experienced at the hands of Culley (controlling who she spoke to, what she wore, not “allowing” her to wear makeup). Ward hopes her story will help encourage other women to come forward with their own.
Chantelle Ward is a shining example that you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful; we all have scars.
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Woman left scarred after ex-boyfriend BIT through her top lip in horrifying attack at home reveals she is rebuilding her self-confidence by becoming a beauty queen (Daily Mail)
Domestic violence victim left disfigured after jealous ex bit her is entering beauty pageant (Metro)