Supergirl star Melissa Benoist reveals she’s a survivor of domestic violence

The actress shared her story in hopes of preventing others from experiencing the same abuse

Supergirl star Melissa Benoist reveals she’s a survivor of domestic violence 1

Melissa Benoist has come forward with a horrific revelation about her past.

In an emotional, 14-minute Instagram video posted on Wednesday, the Supergirl star revealed that she’s a survivor of domestic violence after enduring months of abuse at the hands of a former romantic partner. “I am a survivor of domestic violence or IPV (intimate partner violence), which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether,” the 31-year-old actress said in the video with the caption, “Life Isn’t Always What It Seems”.

Though Benoist didn’t name her abuser throughout the video, she mentioned that he’s younger than her. Prior to getting married to actor Chris Wood, 31, Benoist was previously linked to photographer Nick Vorderman, 37, and was married to her Glee co-star Blake Jenner, 27.

Benoist described her abuser as a “magnanimous person, who didn’t really give you a choice not to be drawn to him,” before adding that “he could be charming, funny, manipulative, [and] devious.”

The actress said that she met her perpetrator at a time in her life when she had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn’t really keen to start a new one. But he became a friend, and when they started dating, “it was a zero to 60 catapult.”

Benoist noted that the abuse was “not violent at first” but came in the form of emotional manipulation, where her partner would snoop on her devices, get angry when she spoke to other men, ask her to change clothes so others wouldn’t look at her, and got angry when she did romantic scenes at work.

“Work, in general, was a touchy subject,” the actress shared. “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.”

Benoist went on to reveal that the abuse got physical around five months into their relationship when he threw a smoothie at her face. Sadly, it didn’t stop there. “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, [and] choked,” she said.

Benoist realized that she had to end the relationship when the abuser threw an iPhone at her face, which resulted in a broken nose and a torn iris, changing her vision for the rest of her life. She said she lied to police and nurses at the hospital about how she got her injuries.

Apparently, the actress also lied on national TV about her injuries. In a 2016 appearance on The Tonight Show, Benoist shared an eye injury story similar to the iPhone incident. But that time, she said she fell down a flight of stairs and hit her eye on a potted plant. “I looked like Squirt from Finding Nemo,” she told host Jimmy Fallon, which was what she also said her abuser had told her following the injury in her latest Instagram video.

At the end of the video, Benoist said she wanted to tell her story because IPV is a chronically underreported crime. “I hope that telling my story will prevent more stories like this from happening,” she said. “If you are enduring what I went through and you see this, you might be able to find the tiny straw that will break the camel’s back.”

Shortly after Benoist shared her domestic abuse story, #IStandWithMelissa started trending on social media, with lots of people expressing their support and admiration for the actress.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in four men have experienced some kind of violence from their partners; and one in seven women and one in 25 men have been injured by their partners.

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