(INSIDE EDITION) Her physical wounds are nearly healed, but the trauma to her soul is still fresh.
Carleigh Hager was attacked four months ago and savagely beaten by a man who claimed to love her, authorities said.
The 25-year-old’s boyfriend tried to rip her tongue out, repeatedly bashed her face into a bathtub, choked her and bit her, all over her body, multiple times, police said.
Ryan Cameron is free on bail and confined to home detention at his parents’ house.
“Because he’s out, it’s very hard for her to make any progress,” Hager’s sister, Megan Splichal, told InsideEdition.com Monday. “She’s been going to therapy. She’s really not able to do much else. She has overwhelming anxiety and fear. She can’t really do anything by herself."
Cameron has been charged with aggravated battery and strangulation. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 6 in Indianapolis.
Hager had a daylong respite Saturday from the fear that usual hounds her when friends and family held a benefit and fundraiser for the young woman.
"She danced. She smiled. She had a blast," her sister said. "She was surrounded by people she loves. She’s felt alone for so long. We don’t want her to ever feel that way again."
Her family had no idea Hager was being abused, Splichal said. She kept it secret. “It started out very small and then imploded that night” in October when Cameron dragged her from their bed and beat her, dragging her through their house while friends called the police, her family said.
Following his arrest, Cameron was ordered to have no contact with Hager and has not communicated with her, Splichal said.
She still has numbness in her tongue. While surgeons have been able to sew it back together, she has a limited sense of taste, Splichal said, adding that her sister's left eyebrow was ripped off in the beating, but her facial wounds have healed.
"She is trying to piece back together who she is," Splichal said.
That is why her friends and family planned Saturday’s benefit and established a GoFundMe page.
“We’ve raised money to buy her some time,” her sister said. “So she doesn’t have to worry about things” like medical bills or holding down a job until she heals on the inside as well as the outside.
“We’re all very fortunate to have her with us,” said Splichal, who declined to say where her sister was living.
“We’re not talking about where she is. She’s not anywhere where he can get to her. She’s safe.”