Melissa Benoist: Something inside of me broke
Supergirl star Melissa Benoist on being a survivor of domestic violence
Melissa Benoist revealed she is a "survivor of domestic violence" in an emotional video that she posted on social media. The actor stopped short of naming the partner in question who allegedly abused her, but described him as "charming, funny, manipulative, devious" and also as being younger than she is. "I am a survivor of domestic violence, which is something I never thought I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether," Benoist begins in the video.
She went on to add that the violence began around five months into the relationship, and described several incidents during which the perpetrator was violent and abusive towards her. The first time it happened, the man threw a smoothie at her face. During another incident, her partner threw an iPhone at her face, breaking her nose and almost rupturing her eyeball.
"The stark truth is that I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard I felt the wind go out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved against the wall so hard the drywall broke, choked," she said. Following each incident, Benoist said her partner would lift her up and put her in an empty bathtub, before turning on the faucet and bringing out "the typical abuser's apology." Over time, Benoist claimed that she too became violent and fought back.
After the phone incident, Benoist ended the relationship. "Something inside of me broke. None of this is salacious news, it was my reality. What I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life." The Supergirl actor said jealousy became a large part of the relationship, as the man would snoop on her phone and become angry when she talked to other men.
"I want the statistics to change and I hope that telling my story might prevent more stories like mine from happening," she said. Supergirl executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter penned a statement following Benoist's video. It read, "Melissa Benoist is a hero, both on and off the screen. We are proud to stand with her. We applaud her bravery and strength and we join her in hoping this incredible act of honesty encourages other people to speak up and find safety and support
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