Janika Cartwright was attacked by her boyfriend Leon Harrison while she sat in her car outside a Stirchley gym in 2013. She was stabbed eight times including through her heart.
Because she was pregnant and had her 9-month-old baby on the back seat she felt unable to run. She kicked and punched Harrison and screamed for someone to help her.
Harrison was convicted for attempted murder and given a seven-and-a-half year jail sentence.
“As I recovered from open heart surgery”, Janika recalls, “I soon realised the wounds from that afternoon weren’t just physical. That is why I fought to get the answers from the person who tried to kill me. I heard about a process called restorative justice and asked if it was something I could be involved with. I felt it would help me come to terms with what had happened. Eventually, I was able to go to the prison where my ex-partner was being held and meet him face to face to ask all the questions that had plagued my mind since the day he attacked me.
“Restorative justice gave me some closure. Without it I can’t imagine how I would have come to terms with what happened.”
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Derek Jamieson was so impressed with her story that he asked her to be the West Midlands RJ ambassador.