Recently, on Instagram, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist revealed that she is a survivor of domestic violence. However, the actor refused to name and shame the abuser. The only clues were that he was “charming, funny, manipulative, devious” and younger than her.
“I am a survivor of domestic violence or intimate partner violence, which is something I never thought I would say let alone be broadcasting into the ether,” Benoist begins in the video.
She recounted that the violence began five months into the relationship. Melissa Benoist described several incidents during which the perpetrator was violent and abusive towards her. The first time it happened, the man threw a smoothie at her. The bottle smacked her cheek and the liquid went all over her face. In another incident, it was an iPhone, which broke her nose and almost ruptured an eyeball.
“The stark truth is 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, shoved against the wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she says.
Going into vivid and disturbing detail, Melissa Benoist revealed that once the ordeal was over, he would lift her up and put her in an empty bathtub, before turning on the faucet and bringing out “the typical abuser’s apology.”
Then, she began to stand up for herself and retaliated violently. After the phone incident, Benoist had had enough and broke off the relationship.
“Something inside of me broke, this was too far, I couldn’t flush this one down. None of this is salacious news, it was my reality, what I went through caused a tectonic shift in my outlook on life.”
Melissa Benoist disclosed that jealousy dominated a large part of the relationship. In a sense, her partner would snoop on her phone and become angry when she talked to other men.
Benoist closes the video by saying that she will be healing from the experiences for the rest of her life, and cites a shocking statistic from the Department of Justice that one in four women in the United States aged 18 and older will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
“I want the statistics to change and I hope that telling my story might prevent more stories like mine from happening,” she says.
In response, Supergirl executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter penned a statement Wednesday praising her. It read, “Melissa Benoist is a hero, both on and off the screen. She is an extraordinary woman and we are proud to stand with her and behind her. We applaud her bravery and strength and we join her in hoping this incredible act of honesty encourages other people to speak up and find safety and support. We love you Melissa.”