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Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist reveals domestic abuse she suffered in emotional video
28 November 2019, 08:19
Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist has opened up about the horrific domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of a former partner and urged other victims to speak out to get help.
The American star, who has played Kara Danvers in the hit show Supergirl since 2015, took to Instagram to share her ordeal.
The 31-year-old posted the heartbreaking video to her 3.8 million followers with the caption "life isn't always what it seems".
Melissa did not name her abuser, but explains how she is a "survivor of domestic violence or IPV (intimate partner violence)".
Speaking about a former boyfriend, Melissa explained how he was "a magnanimous person, who didn’t really give you a choice not to be drawn to him.
"He could be charming, funny, manipulative, devious. He was younger than me, his maturity obvious.
She continued: "For a period of time, I wasn’t interested. I was newly single, gaining my bearing in a change in my life."
Melissa goes on to explain that initially the abuse was emotional rather than physical, with her then-boyfriend telling her how to dress and making her change outfits before leaving the house.
She also recounts the difficulties it caused in her job.
"He didn’t want me ever kissing or even having flirtatious scenes with men, which was very hard for me to avoid, so I began turning down auditions, job offers, test deals and friendships, because I didn’t want to hurt him."
About five months into the relationship, the abuse turned physical.
Holding back tears, Melissa shares the horrific details.
She said: "The stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched so hard the wind was knocked out of me, dragged by my hair across pavement, head butted, pinched until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked.
"I learned to lock myself in rooms but quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down.
"I learned to not value any of my property, replaceable and irreplaceable. I learned not to value myself."
She said that the moment she realised it was "too far" was when her abuser threw an iPhone at her face, breaking her nose and almost rupturing her eyeball.
"Something inside me broke, it was too far", she recalls.
Melissa said the process of leaving the relationship "was not a walk in the park" and she was constantly left with "complicated feelings for leaving and for hurting someone".
Closing the video, Melissa said: "Breaking that cycle was the most rewarding, empowering choice I’ve ever made for myself. I feel an enduring strength.
"I will be healing from this for the rest of my life."
In a post on her Instagram, Melissa urged other people in a similar situation to get help and leave the relationship.
She wrote: "The long and winding road of healing and reconciliation has brought me to this moment where I feel strong enough to talk about my experience openly, honestly and without shame.
"By sharing my story, hopefully I can empower others to seek help and extricate themselves from abusive relationships. Everyone deserves to be loved void of violence, fear and physical harm."