She’s gifted with superhuman strength on her CW series Supergirl.
Melissa Benoist showed off her own strength Wednesday when she revealed she was a survivor of domestic abuse.
The 31-year-old actress made the emotional declaration in a 14-minute video shared to Instagram.
Heartbreaking: Melissa Benoist, 31, showed her strength Wednesday when she revealed she was a survivor of domestic abuse in a video posted to Instagram
Melissa’s video opened on a close-up of her face, and she often addressed the camera directly.
‘I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence,’ she began, after briefly mention how nervous she was to be sharing.
She immediately launched into a description of the man who would become her abuser.
‘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 continued.
Opening up: ‘I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence,’ she began, after briefly mention how nervous she was to be sharing; pictured in August
Melissa added that she ‘was newly single’ and ‘gaining my bearings,’ and she wasn’t initially interested in a relationship with the younger man, whom she considered immature.
Still, they eventually became friends, and once the two started a relationship it took off like ‘a runaway freight train.’
The Waco actress recognized warning signs from early on, but she stressed it wasn’t clear exactly how toxic the relationship would become at the onset.
‘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.
Younger man: She described starting a relationship with a man who was younger than her and seemed immature
Her partner first became violent five months into their relationship when he allegedly threw a smoothie at her face.
She kept quiet about the attack for multiple reasons: shame, worry that saying something would cause him to become violent again, and an inability to admit that she was in an abusive relationship.
But the violence continued and became even 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 he wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,’ she said in a chillingly matter-of-fact tone.
Her attacker would even break down doors when hid behind and would put her in the bathtub and turn on the faucet after his attacks, only to return and apologize.
First time: Her partner first became violent five months into their relationship when he allegedly threw a smoothie at her face, but she kept quiet out of shame and embarrassment; shown in 2018
The relationship reached a terrifying boiling point in 2015, when Benoist’s partner allegedly threw an iPhone at her face.
In terrifying detail, she described how the phone tore her iris and nearly ruptured her eyeball. She said the impact also broke her nose.
Her vision in that eye was permanently damaged as a result, though she lied to police officers and medical professionals about how she got her injury in order to protect her partner — and stave off further violence.
Bu she eventually worked up the courage to tell a close friend.
‘The more people I let in, the more I was bolstered,’ she said.
Horrifying: In 2015, her partner threw an iPhone at her face. It tore her iris and nearly ruptured her eyeball while also breaking her nose, but she lied about what happened to police and nurses
As frightening as some of her experiences were, they’re in line with what many other women experience.
‘None of this is salacious news, it was my reality. What I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life.’
The Jay And Silent Bob Reboot actress expressed her desire to finally share because of how many people are afraid to come forward about their abuse.
Benoist did not name her abuser.
High flying: Benoist has played the title character on The CW’s Supergirl since 2015
Timeline: Melissa was married to Glee actor Blake Jenner during the period in which her unnamed romantic partner through an iPhone at her face. She filed for divorce in late December 2016, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’; pictured November 7
During a 2016 appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Melissa described an eye injury similar to the iPhone attack, the Hollywood Reporter points out.
She claimed at the time to have fallen down a flight of stairs and hit her face on a potted plant, and said, ‘I looked like Squirt from Finding Nemo.’
In her new video, Benoist says her partner had told her the same thing after his attack.
She had also previously described herself as ‘accident-prone’ in interviews.
Important message: She thanked viewers for watching the video shortly after publishing it
After posting the video, Melissa shared a short text message on Instagram.
‘If you took the time to watch my story on IGTV, thank you. I am just one of the many that have experienced IPV. 1 in 4 women are affected by it.
‘It is never easy to reveal the most painful truths, but I’ve been bolstered and inspired by the women before me who have come forward about assault and abuse.
‘I hope you are, too. Because there is absolutely strength in numbers,’ she wrote.
‘Very proud’: Melissa’s revelation was met with praise on social media including from her Supergirl co-star Elizabeth ‘Bitsie’ Tulloch
‘Everyone deserves to be loved void of violence, fear and physical harm,’ she added in the caption.
Melissa’s revelation was met with praise on social media including from her Supergirl co-star Elizabeth ‘Bitsie’ Tulloch.
‘Very proud of & impressed by @MelissaBenoist for sharing something so indescribably painful & personal in order to maybe help someone else who’s suffering from IPV (Intimate Partner Violence).’
Insecure star Natasha Rothwell tweeted: ‘I stand on awe of @MelissaBenoist’s courage,’ encouraging donations to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
‘we see your strength’: Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez wrote: ‘melissa, i am so proud of you’
She also quoted one Lauren Warren: ‘Check on your strong friends. Check on your quiet friends. Check on your “happy” friends. Check on your creative friends. Check on each other.’
Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez wrote: ‘melissa, i am so proud of you. there is so much courage in sharing your story, and you chose to take your story and share it with the world. we see your strength. thank you for sharing’.
Rachel Zegler, who is starring in the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie of West Wide Story, wrote: ‘i adore you, melissa benoist. you are strong and beautiful and loved.’
For confidential help and support in the US please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline on 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
If you are in the UK please call the National Domestic Violence freephone helpline on 0808 2000 247