Supergirl and Glee star, Melissa Benoist, in a 14-minute post to Instagram, shared that she was a survivor of domestic violence. The abuse was mental, emotional and physical.
“The abuse was not violent at first,” said Benoist. “At first it reared its head at me under guise of common dysfunction, coming from his insecurity and depression.”
“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.”
Benoist, known best for her current role on CW’s Supergirl, described her abuser as jealous of her working with men and also jealous of her physical appearance and how she dressed in public.
Yet the abuse escalated with time.
“The memories feel like they took place on a different planet where I was breathing different air and witnessing a macabre secret could never tell anyone I had ever seen,” she said. “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 till my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked.”
Benoist has not named her abuser but did go on to recount another incident wherein a cellphone was thrown at her face, causing significant injuries that caused her eye to swell shut and a fat lip. Benoist was set to be on set the next morning for reshoots. So they made up a story that she had tripped and fallen on the stairs of their deck and hit her face on a potted plant.
Benoist said that it was only when she was confronted by a friend that she admitted it was domestic violence.
“None of this is salacious news,” said Benoist in the video. “It was my reality. It taught me what love is and isn’t, and the strength I am capable of.”
“If you are enduring what I went through and you see this, maybe you will find this tiny straw that will break the camel’s back,” Benoist said. “Or at least, you might begin to think of your freedom. In which case, I am here, I am with you, and you can and deserve to live a violence-free life.”
Benoist is now happily married Chris Wood, her Supergirl co-star, and can be seen in the upcoming CW crossover event, ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’, this December.
If you or someone is a victim of domestic violence, click this link to report it anonymously or to get help.
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This is post P-90x. I’m saying I watched the videos. I’m not saying I participated. Born in my mom’s basement, I’ve stayed there to embody the stereotype. One day I will rise up… to the main floor of the house.