A young woman has recounted in grisly detail the horrific moment she was stabbed by a stranger while walking her dog in a park in the middle of the day.
Emma Berquist, from Wellington in New Zealand, wrote in a first person piece for blog Medium about how she was stabbed six times on December 6 about 11.30am local time.
Ms Berquist, an author, recalled that she was about to check Twitter on her phone when she felt someone grab her from behind.
At first she just thought a friend was trying to surprise her.
“And then I felt the hit to my back, right between my shoulder blades,” she wrote.
“Like a punch. And then another, next to the first, and then I was turning.”
Her dog barked and she yelled but didn’t scream. Ms Berquist fell to the ground and began to kick. Her attacker punched her in the head as she felt blood trickle onto her jumper.
He then ran and Ms Berquist rolled over, picked up her phone and rang an ambulance.
She managed to ask a woman passing by for help, handing her the phone to speak with the emergency operator.
Police eventually arrived and Ms Berquist’s dog stayed by her side as she was taken to hospital.
‘A surge of panic through my body’
She believes she was stabbed with a box cutter or a small knife. Whatever was used it created wounds on Ms Berquist’s back, both arms and chest.
When she arrived at hospital, doctors needed to make sure she hadn’t severed an artery in her right arm. In all, she received 25 stitches and says she slept for “the better part of a week”.
Ms Berquist wrote after her ordeal that she believes she could have died and the emotional toll of the attack still has her feeling “jumpy”.
“I don’t like people coming up behind me,” she wrote.
“I dropped my keys the other day, and the noise sent a surge of panic through my body. I’ve diagnosed myself with what I’m calling ‘a touch of shell shock’.”
A 16-year-old boy, who’s accused of attacking her, was arrested on December 17.
Ms Berquist doesn’t know why the person responsible for stabbing her did what they did and feels a sense of “resignation”.
“There are no motives here, no villains, no heroes,” she wrote.
Sadly, Australian women are no strangers to violence either.
According to government agency Our Watch, which aims to end violence against women and children, one in three Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
On average, one woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner, according to the organisation.
Young women, aged between 18-24, reportedly experience “significantly higher” rates of violence than older women.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.