Carleigh Hager is a typical 25-year-old from Indianapolis. On the night of October 22, 2016, she arrived home from a wedding with her boyfriend Ryan and three other guests. After what had begun as a perfectly pleasant evening, things were about to take a very dark turn.
Ryan had been drinking heavily and began acting abusively. He insulted Carleigh in front of his friends, even suggesting that they would be welcome to rape her. Carleigh was so distraught she left the group and went to bed, hoping her absence would diffuse the situation. But eventually Ryan came in and started brutally beating her.
His friends tried to intervene, but he threw them out of the house and locked the door. Luckily, they made the right decision and called the police. However, before police arrived on the scene, Ryan's rage intensified. He threw her to the floor and began biting her all over her body. Carleigh fought desperately to get away, but Ryan was still able to inflict over 20 bite wounds and nearly ripped out her tongue.
Fortunately, the police arrived just in time to stop Ryan before he was able to inflict any fatal wounds. They found Carleigh in shock and covered in blood and quickly took her to the hospital. Doctors were able to re-attach her tongue but it took three weeks for her to recover to the point that she could eat properly again. The psychological wounds, however, took much longer to heal.
Carleigh has since confessed that she had always lived in fear of her boyfriend despite the happy life she had depicted on social media. Now she wants to warn others so they don’t make the same mistake, “You have to tell somebody. You can’t be embarrassed. You can’t be ashamed. You have to tell somebody because I almost died and it can happen.”
Thanks to the friends who called the police, Carleigh is still alive today. She's one of the lucky ones, but there are many others who are not as fortunate. Hopefully her story will encourage others who are in abusive relationships to speak up and seek help before it's too late.