A young Auckland woman who narrowly escaped death after her ex-boyfriend stabbed her in broad daylight has reunited with the people who saved her life.
Crystal Tupou thought she was meeting a female friend for lunch on November 22, 2018. But in reality her ex-boyfriend was using a fake Facebook account to lure her near him.
He stabbed her more than 16 times in the back and chest on Anzac Avenue in central Auckland, leaving Tupou fighting for her life.
Her survival is credited to three men who ran to her aid despite the danger to themselves.
"I have no doubt that their actions that day saved Crystal's life because by the offender's own admission he only stopped stabbing her when he saw the men running towards him," said Auckland City Detective Tim Johnston.
Steve Smith was the first to reach 19-year-old Tupou. He says the sight of her critically injured was harrowing.
"When I first saw her she was helpless on the ground in the fetal position trying to protect herself," he said.
"It broke my heart to see her like that."
In a video shared to the Auckland City Police Facebook page Smith and Tupou both sob as they embrace each other.
Tupou then embraces Daniel Coombe and Walker Hunt - the two other men who stepped in and saved her life.
"While it was horrendous what Crystal went through, you're not powerless to change the outcome of those events," said Coombe.
"People just act and sometimes those events can go quite differently".
Tupou says she is incredibly grateful to the three men for coming to her aide.
"They saved my life," she said through tears.
"There's no way I'd ever be able to repay them but I hope a big thank you would be enough.
"If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be here and alive today".
She says she wants to help other women escape abusive relationships to ensure her horror encounter doesn't happen to anyone else.
"There were signs but I chose to see the good side of him. I knew that one day it would get out of hand and I let it happen," she said.
"If anyone is going through that, please, no matter how much it hurts, do what's best for yourself, because no one is going to give you another life."
The man who stabbed Tupou pled guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.
Where to find help and support:
Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)