A photo diary of ‘abuse’: Belgian model releases images showing how relationship went from perfect romantic beginning to ‘violent attacks’ over 18 months
- Anthonia Rochus, 21, said her idyllic relationship became an abusive nightmare
- The model accused her unnamed ex-boyfriend of assaulting her multiple times
- At first he showered her with gifts but later became physically abusive, she says
- Rochus has filed a complaint with the police and an investigation is ongoing
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A Belgian model has posted images of the idyllic beginning of her relationship with her ex-boyfriend alongside shocking photos of her badly-bruised face at the end of the 18-month relationship.
Anthonia Rochus, 21, from Lier in Belgium posted the images on Twitter with the message: ‘Where it all started V where it all ended.’
The Flemish model, who was with her partner – who she doesn’t name in her post – for 18 months, shared a happy early image of them together alongside several of her sporting heavy bruising on her face.
Belgian model Anthonia Rochus, 21, said her new relationship went from a fairytale to a nightmare over the course of 18 months as her ex-boyfriend revealed a controlling, jealous and violent side
On Friday, the model shared a series of photos of herself with a heavily bruised face on Twitter. She says the injuries are the result of attacks by her ex-boyfriend and explained that she was sharing the images – and pursuing police action – because she does ‘not want to read that a woman has died and find out that he was the culprit’
The 21-year-old from Lier said she felt only ‘pain and sadness’ when looking at the start and end of the relationship with her ex, who she does not name or identify in the post
Rochus explained that what started out as a summer romance, ended with her reporting her boyfriend to police.
Belgian officers confirmed they are investigating the alleged abuse – while the case was covered widely in the Belgian media.
Explaining what drove her to go public after suffering in silence, she said: ‘I do not want to read that a woman has been killed and find out he was the culprit.
‘This is my before and after. No happy ending, no true happiness, just pain and sadness. This is also how it can go.
‘Finally I have found the courage to tell my story. But this is not the end. I’m coming out of this stronger than ever.’
Rochus explained that she met her ex-boyfriend on holiday nearly two years ago, calling it ‘love at first sight’ and adding that they ‘started living together almost immediately’.
Rochus said she met her ex-boyfriend (pictured) on holiday and that it was ‘love at first sight.’ The pair starting living together ‘almost immediately’ and the relationship seemed to be going well. Rochus’ boyfriend showered her with gifts and compliments in their early days
The beautiful model said that after a while, her ex-boyfriend became controlling and jealous and that he did not allow her to put on make up or choose which clothes to wear
After punching a hole in a door and knocking a lamp of the ceiling, Rochus’ ex-boyfriend allegedly turned his anger on her. Rochus claimed she was first attacked after the couple had been out at a party: ‘At home, he grabbed my hair and smashed my face into the radiator’
However, her new beau, who initially showered the model with gifts and compliments, soon revealed a short temper and a jealous side, according to Rochus.
She said: ‘Suddenly, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup anymore, and I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted.’
The model claimed that her boyfriend became increasingly aggressive, taking out his frustration on the furniture at first.
After he punched a hole in a door and knocked a lamp off the ceiling, he allegedly turned his anger on his young girlfriend.
Rochus said: ‘He saw me smoking a cigarette with a friend at a party and blew a fuse.
‘At home, he grabbed my hair and smashed my face into the radiator. I drove to my mother’s that night with my face covered in blood.’
After the first alleged attack, Rochus said she drove to her mother’s house with her face covered in blood. She said the violence against her became more frequent after that
One alleged attack landed the young woman in the hospital. Rochus said a doctor had told her that she had suffered a heavy blow to the temple that and if it had been a bit stronger, she could have been killed
In her Twitter post, the model referenced the #MeToo movement, saying ‘Every woman now knows that they should not put up with this’
She also claimed that the violent episodes became more frequent after that night.
In the summer, Rochus ended up in hospital after another alleged beating.
The model said: ‘The doctor who checked my injuries was very clear, ‘you suffered a heavy blow to your temple. It if had been a bit stronger, you could be dead now’.’
She added: ‘Look at the #MeToo movement. Every woman now knows that they should not put up with this.’
The investigation continues.
If you’ve been affected by domestic violence, you can find numbers for dedicated helplines in Belgium and other European Union countries here.