Melissa Benoist, the Supergirl star became the new face of domestic violence survivors after she shared her personal story. The star shared her story in a 14-minute long video on her Instagram page. Soon after, support started pouring in for the star on social media.
'Life Isn't Always What It Seems' says the Supergirl
Opening the first time about the hidden aspect of her personal life, the 31-year-old star posted the video on her Instagram page. Captioning the video 'Life Isn't Always What It Seems', Benoist who is currently married to her Supergirl co-star Chris Wood, without naming her abuser said that he was younger than her.
Sharing the story with her fans, Benoist revealed that she was friends with her abuser before they began dating for a long time. After admitting that she is a victim of domestic violence or IPV she stated that the 31-year-old star never expected to face such consequences in life.
What started as a fairytale romance turned into a horror story
Benoist described her abuser as a charming and funny person and stated that for a period of time she was not really interested. The actress who stepped into the tinsel town through her guest appearances in TV series such as Blue Bloods and The Good Wife said that the abuser made her feel special and less lonely.
Terming her relationship as a 'runaway freight train', Benoist further added that things started to change for worse once they started dating actively.
Benoist overlooked early indications of the abuse (Warning: Description of the domestic violence)
Revealing the indications of early abuse, Benoist, who starred in musical dramedy Glee, said that it started with the abuser 'snooping' on her devices, forcing her to change clothes while going out, limiting her interactions with co-stars on the job.
The star further revealed that he did not like her enacting romantic scenes in the movies: "Work in general was a touchy subject. 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," she said.
She further added that at that point she was much more worried about how he felt and did not register that the incidents mentioned above were also abuses which followed a very clear path on things becoming violent for her.
The abuse gained momentum soon after the first incident (Warning: Description of the domestic violence)
Admitting that she didn't know how to respond once the physical violence started five months into their relationship, Benoist said that he threw a smoothie at her face . 'I was a child from a nonviolent but broken home, and the ways in which the effects of my parents' divorce manifested in me were varied, but sheer terror at a failed relationship in my own life was one of them. I also hadn't figured out that I could say "no" and disappoint someone and still be OK,' she said.
She mentioned that the actress learnt how it felt like to get pinned down and slapped repeatedly, punched, dragged by the hair across the pavement, head-butted, pinched until the skin break and shoved into a wall. She further added that the 31-year-old also learnt not to value herself admitted that her partner would put her in the bathtub and turn on the faucet.
Courage to break free from the toxic relationship
Talking about the incident which finally gave her the courage to break free from the toxic relationship, the star stated, "It was a blow to my face with his iPhone. The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose. My left I swelled shut. I had a fat lip... Something inside of me broke, this was too far."
Benoist mentioned that after that incifdent she started to fight back. And finally, one day, though it was tough for her, the actress made herself understand that she deserves better and broke free.
'I will be healing from this for the rest of my life'
Stating that the abusive relationship helped her identify the real love and her strength, the star further 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."
At the end of the video, Benoist finally concluded saying that she hopes that telling her story would definitely help others who are suffering from domestic violence to break free and move on life.
She was previously in a relationship with the photographer Nick Vorderman, 37 with whom the 31-year-old broke up and later married Glee actor Blake Jenner who incidentally was younger to her. Their divorce was finalised in 2017, a year after the couple filed for separation.