Abigail Breslin recently felt driven to share her personal experience as a victim of an abusive relationship because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. (Learn more: 6 Strong Women Discuss Domestic Violence )
To warn anyone who might be impacted by discussions concerning domestic abuse and sexual assault, Breslin shared a trigger warning in an Instagram post . The actor then made a very daring move by sharing her own tale.
The 26-year-old claims, “I was in an extremely abusive relationship for close to two years.” It all began well, and I was incredibly in love. Unfortunately, my abuser took advantage of my naivete and innocence, and as a result, the relationship turned violent.
Breslin suffered from “severe injuries…injuries most others didn’t even see,” she adds, and was “regularly beaten, imprisoned in rooms and forced to pretend everything was okay and normal.” According to the actress’s article, she started depending on cosmetics to hide her injuries and felt “ugly and unloved” as a result of the assault. I believed there had to be a fundamental PROBLEM with ME.
Breslin is now on the road to recovery. She expresses support for people who are in abusive situations and gives appreciation to her friends and family for helping her leave her abuser. If you are currently in an abusive relationship, you CAN leave, she says. “I know it seems impossible and terrible, but you have survived so much, and if you have the necessary tools and support, you CAN survive leaving.”
Breslin also suggests calling the National Domestic Violence hotline, which is open round-the-clock and can be reached at 1-800-799-7233, if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.
In the US, around 20 people are physically abused by an intimate relationship every minute, according to the NCADV . According to the organization, one in four women and one in nine men experience serious intimate relationship physical abuse, sexual abuse, or stalking. This can result in problems like post-traumatic stress disorder , which Breslin reveals in a recent Instagram post as something she herself has dealt with following an abusive relationship.
These startling findings highlight the need for deeper understanding of domestic abuse across cultures, better access to resources, and increased awareness of the problem. Even though October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it has only been established since 1987, and much work needs to be done to support victims of abuse and prevent it from happening in the first place.
For the time being, tales like Breslin’s help people locate resources that can assist them and facilitate crucial discussions about this topic. And if Breslin’s experience is any guide, recovery from domestic abuse is possible, albeit it can take some time.
Breslin adds, “I am now in a beautiful, healthy, happy and amazing relationship with my fiancé.” Although it is considerably better now than it was in the first two to three years following my violent relationship, I still experience C-PTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder). Sometimes I still have nightmares, and some things still set them off. I’m still recovering,” she adds. “The effects of abuse vary widely from person to person.” I hope that by telling more of my story, I might at least make a few individuals feel a little less alone.
It appears that Breslin’s candor has already sparked fruitful conversations. Breslin’s post has received a ton of likes and comments from people offering their support and thanking her for sharing her experience in the days since she first shared it.
Visit thehotline.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse.