Suffolk

Acid attack victim Adele Bellis plans school talks

Adele Bellis Image copyright PA/Yui Mok
Image caption Adele Bellis (pictured on Wednesday) said lessons on abusive partners are "as important as sex education"

A woman scarred for life in an acid attack arranged by her boyfriend said she hopes to turn it into a positive experience by teaching young people about abusive relationships.

Anthony Riley, 26, was jailed for life for the attack on Adele Bellis, 23. He paid an accomplice to throw acid on her as she waited for a bus in August 2014.

Ms Bellis said she wants to teach boys and girls about avoiding abuse.

"It's as important as sex education" in schools, she said.

The former beautician said she felt her face "melting" when sulphuric acid was thrown over her in London Road South in Lowestoft.

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She lost an ear, had scars to her head, face, neck and hand, and was left partially bald after the attack, orchestrated by her boyfriend.

Image copyright Adele Bellis
Image caption Adele Bellis said she felt burning and "knew I'd lost my ear" in the attack on 14 August 2014
Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Anthony Riley paid £500 to have the attack carried out

During his trial, Ms Bellis said: "His controlling got worse. He... got more evil and started hitting me," she said.

"There were a few times he punched me and told me not to tell the police or he'd kill me, and that's why I kept quiet."

Riley, of Raglan Road, Lowestoft, paid Jason Harrison £500 to attack Ms Bellis. Harrison and two others were also jailed.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Ms Bellis had been stabbed by one of Riley's accomplices several months before the acid attack

She has now written a book documenting her six-year relationship as it became increasingly abusive.

Reliving it was "one of the hardest things I've ever done", Ms Bellis said.

She hopes to use the book, Brave, to educate young people about unhealthy relationships.

"When you're in your first relationship you don't really know what's normal and what isn't, so young people need guidance," she said.

Image copyright Adele Bellis
Image caption The sulphuric acid attack means Ms Bellis is likely to need treatment throughout her life

"It's not just about educating girls, it's about educating boys.

"It needs to be understood by men that this controlling behaviour is wrong and I believe by telling boys it's actually weak behaviour it'll help make it more socially unacceptable."

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