“Supergirl” actress Melissa Benoist has posted a brave and emotional 14-minute Instagram video today sharing her story about being the victim of domestic violence.
The 31-year-old describes meeting the alleged perpetrator at a time in her life when she had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t eager to get into another. They started dating anyway and the relationship immediately felt like a “runaway freight train”.
Initially, it started out as emotional manipulation with a jealous partner looking at her devices, getting angry when she spoke to other men, and got angry when she did romantic scenes at work. Five months in the violence began as the partner allegedly threw a smoothie at her face.
She goes on to say: “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, slammed against he wall so hard the drywall broke, choked.”
So why did she stay? “Deep down I never believed he would change, I just fooled myself into thinking I could help him… Someone had to let him know his behavior wasn’t OK, and who better than the one he was taking it out on?” Benoist then says she herself became violent to fend off the attacks: “I changed and I’m not proud of how I changed.”
The turning point came when the partner threw an iPhone at her face, allegedly nearly rupturing her eyeball and breaking her nose – it was an injury that changed her vision forever. She was able to confide in a friend and then “the more people I let in, the more I was bolstered” – then breaking off relations with the partner.
Benoist never named the abuser, only saying he was younger than her. She has been linked to 37-year-old photographer Nick Vorderman, was married to 27-year-old Blake Jenner for over a year, and is now married to actor 31-year-old actor and former “Supergirl” co-star Chris Wood.
Benoist adds: “None of this is salacious news, it was my reality. What I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life.” She says she wanted to tell her story because domestic violence remains a chronically underreported crime with one in four women and one in four men experiencing some kind of violence from their partners while one in seven women and one in twenty-five men have been injured by their partners.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and need help or support, please contact support hotlines such as those listed at National Domestic Violence Hotline if you live in the United States, while in Australia head to WhiteRibbon.Org.