A domestic violence survivor who was stabbed 29 times, locked in a cupboard and left for dead by her abusive partner has opened up about her fight for survival. 

Martina Turner, who was savagely attacked by her partner Steven Wood in May 2021, hopes to raise awareness about domestic violence by sharing her story.

Ms Turner was setting the table at her home in Winlaton Mill, ready for breakfast with her partner at the time, Mr Wood, when she was victim to an unprovoked and horrific attack.

The 54-year-old was stabbed 29 times by Steven with three different knives and then locked in a cupboard in their kitchen.

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Steven Wood had been diagnosed as having bipolar, so Ms Turner said she had learned to put his mood swings down to his medical condition.

Ms Turner said: “He would experience extreme highs where he would do absolutely anything for me and shower me in gifts no matter how expensive. He could be so generous and charming and even had my friends and family under his spell.

“We had been together for about a year and a half at this point after meeting on Match.com. I did everything right when we dated like telling my friends where I was and meeting in public and didn’t see any red flags.

“In the time we were together, he never laid a hand on me which is a big shock really compared to the brutality of what he then did.”

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As Mr Wood began to get angrier, Ms Turner suggested he go for a walk with their dog, Tove, to diffuse the situation.

Ms Turner said: “I told him I was going to go out and that’s when he went to the cupboard, got a knife and then stabbed me from behind and said: ‘You’re going nowhere’.

“Because of the adrenaline, I didn’t realise what he had done at first as it just felt like a fist in my back, that was until I saw the blood running from my shirt.

“He then got a second knife and I tried to reason with him from the other side of the island.

“He then said: ‘I can’t stop now, I need to finish you off because I am not going to jail’.”

Mr Wood began to stab her legs, breasts and as she put her hands in front of her face to protect it, she could feel the knife slicing the tendons on her hands.

Ms Turner said: “He then got the bread knife out of the drawer, and I tried to hide in the cupboard, but he rammed the knife into my chest.

“He then went upstairs, changed his top, locked me in the cupboard then went out and left me for dead.

“I’m not sure if it was intuition but I usually leave my phone in my handbag and at that moment it was in the cupboard with me, so I dialled 999.”

Emergency services smashed through Ms Turner’s window to get to her, and the helicopter from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) was already on its way.

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Ms Turner said: “GNAAS couldn’t take me by helicopter as I couldn’t lie down because the knife was still stuck in my chest, so they decided it was quicker and safer to go by road to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

“While I was receiving the life-saving care at home, Steven had jumped from the Redheugh Bridge in Newcastle where it was believed that he had tried to take his own life.

"He was rescued as he jumped.”

When Ms Turner got to the RVI, it was found that she had 29 stab wounds in total and 17 of those were in her back.

She said: “I was taken to a different department of the hospital and given a different name as I was so paranoid that he was coming for me.

“The police had informed my children, and they had appointed a family liaison officer as they didn’t think I would survive.

“I remember afterwards, the doctor told me: ‘you are a survivor’”.

Mr Wood was in hospital for two weeks and denied the attack but then changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years.

Ms Turner said: “I was in hospital for six weeks then my son had to care for me as my hands were so badly damaged and bandaged that I couldn’t do anything for myself.

“Now I have a fear of knives and have nightmares and bad mood swings.

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“I can’t have people stand behind me now, I can’t queue and if I am at a restaurant I always must sit with my back against the wall.”

She added: “I felt guilty they used the helicopter and its fuel to get to me and I was taken by road, but I will still be forever grateful.”

GNAAS does not receive government funding and is dependent on donations to survive. To donate or find out more about the charity visit www.gnaas.com