'Supergirl' actress Melissa Benoist opened up about her experiences with domestic violence to 'empower others'

One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of intimate partner violence in their lives. However, much of this violence goes unreported. Only 25% of physical assaults against women are reported to the police each year.

Even Supergirl has experienced domestic violence. For the first time, actress Melissa Benoist opened up about her own experiences with domestic violence on her Instagram page. In a 14-minute video, Benoist spoke about her abusive relationship, which she compared to a "runaway freight train."




Benoist didn't name the partner who was abusive, but said he was younger than she was. "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," she said.

RELATED: A director asked to see Jennifer Lopez's breasts. Her response says a lot about standing up for yourself

Benoist said the relationship was "not violent at first," but he would get jealous and spy on her devices or make her change clothes before she went out. After five months, he became violent.

"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," she said. "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."

Benoist's partner threw an iPhone at her face, which permanently altered her vision. "The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose," she said. "My left eye swelled shut. I had a fat lip … Something inside of me broke, this was too far."

After speaking with a friend, Benoist decided to leave the relationship. "Leaving was not a walk in the park. It is not an event, it's a process. I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long, and yes, [a] mournful feeling of leaving something familiar," she said. "But luckily, the people I let in, the more I was bolstered, I never lost the sense of clarity that kept telling me, 'You do not deserve this.'"

Ultimately, Benoist decided to share her story so others won't have to experience what she did. "I want those statistics to change, and 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."

RELATED: A neuroscientist had a paper mansplained to her. Plot twist, she wrote it

Benoist's current husband, actor Chris Wood, tweeted out a message of support after his wife shared her story.

Other celebrities and fans were supportive of Benoist, sharing messages of support using the hashtag #istandwithmelissa.









Benoist's powerful story is a reminder that you never really know what someone might going through. No matter how great someone's life looks on the outside, they might be going through hell on the inside.

Courtesy of Movemeant Foundation

True

Have you ever woken up one day and wondered if you were destined to do more in your life? Or worried you didn't take that shot at your dream?

FOX's new show "The Big Leap." is here to show you that all you need to take that second chance is the confidence to do so.

Watch as a group of diverse underdogs from all different walks of life try to change their lives by auditioning for a reality TV dance show, finding themselves on an emotional journey when suddenly thrust into the spotlight. And they're not letting the fact that they don't have the traditional dancer body type, age, or background hold them back.

Unfortunately, far too many people lack this kind of confidence. That's why FOX is partnering with the Movemeant Foundation, an organization whose whole mission is to teach women and girls that fitness and physical movement is essential to helping them develop self-confidence, resilience, and commitment with communities of like-minded girls.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Microsoft Office

This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


Last Christmas, Alex got exactly what he always wanted: a new "robo" arm.

Sure, it's basically like having a second hand, but it also does something equally important: It totally reflects his personality. How? It's a "Transformers"-themed arm.

Keep Reading Show less