Supergirl star Melissa Benoist revealed in a video posted on Instagram that she is a "survivor of domestic violence" before recounting a number of incidents in graphic detail that occurred while she was in a previous relationship with an abusive partner.
With that being said, please be warned that this post contains descriptions of abuse and violence.
Benoist starts off by sharing that she previously wrote down everything she was about to read aloud before revealing, after a brief pause, "I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes IPV as "physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse."
Benoist says that she first met her abusive partner, who is never named but described as being younger than her, as she had just gotten out of a relationship. She said she had no desire to commit to someone so quickly after a break-up, so the two started off as friends. However, they eventually started dating, but it soon turned into something more serious which "felt like a runaway freight train."
Benoist recalls instances of emotional manipulation over his own "insecurity and depression" that ultimately impacted her acting career. "Work in general was a touchy subject," she said. "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."
The first time that the relationship turned violent was five months into the relationship when she says he threw a smoothie at her face, and from there, the abusive behavior only got worse. "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 the wall so hard the drywall broke, choked," she said.
Benoist said the turning point came when he threw an iPhone at her face, which tore her iris and broke her nose. She told nurses and the police that she sustained her injuries from a fall, but she later came forward with the truth when one of her friends visited her.
"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," Benoist said. "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."