Cleaner undergoes eight hours of reconstructive face surgery after stabbing

The family of a woman slashed in a shopping centre in Adelaide’s north have spoken of her bravery in confronting her attacker after undergoing more than eight hours of reconstructive surgery on her face.

Rovie, 30, was cleaning a toilet at Parabanks Shopping Centre on Monday about 8pm when she was allegedly cornered by a man with a knife who slashed her in the face.

Her aunt Rheza Ardenete said Rovie had her back to the entrance door when she was stabbed.

Rovie (left), a cleaner in Adelaide’s north, has undergone eight hours of surgery on her face after she was stabbed in a shopping centre. Source: 7 News

“She turned around and tried to defend herself; obviously in four walls you can’t do much but just keep praying,” Ms Ardenete said.

“She just kept defending the knife that’s going towards her, she just kept pushing it. If that guy continues, just one more, that would’ve been it for my niece.”

The cleaner was rushed to hospital with injuries so horrific that her family weren’t able to visit her at first.

Doctors spent more than eight hours on the operating table reconstructing the 30-year-old’s face on Tuesday.

Ms Ardenete added “it was very bad” but her niece was “very tough” in defending herself.

Police have described the attack as ‘callous’ and ‘exceptionally brutal’. Source: 7 News

The woman, who wasn’t scheduled to be at work on Monday night when she was attacked, is vowing to return to work despite the assault.

SA Police have declared the attack “callous” and “exceptionally brutal”. Authorities added the man allegedly spoke to the cleaner before launching his assault.

Detective Inspector Billy Thompson said it was “a cowardly attack on a defenceless person”.

Anyone with information in relation to this incident can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the online reporting page.