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Azie Tesfai and Melissa Benoist (right) speak at the "Supergirl" Special Video Presentation và Q&A ...

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during 2019 Comic-Con International. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) Getty Images

Melissa Benoist may seem indestructible as Supergirl, the Kryptonian superanh hùng star of the CW television series named after her. But in real life, she is human. She can get hurt. And a 14-minute video that she posted on Instagram TV revealed that she has unfortunately joined the many, many humans who have sầu suffered intimate partner violence (IPV) or domestic partner violence:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes IPV as “physical violence, sexual violence, stalking, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.”Note that this definition includes situations where physical contact is not involved, but emotional or psychological harm is done. The following Instagram post from Benoist referred to lớn her IGTV video clip và cited the statistic that about a quarter of all women have sầu been the victims of IPV:

Thus, Benoist is certainly not alone. Far from it. Moreover, women aren’t the only ones suffering. According khổng lồ the CDC, “approximately 1 in 10 men in the U.S. experienced tương tác sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime & reported some size of IPV-related impact.”

These numbers could very well be underestimates. Enrique Gracia, PhD, a Professor at the University of Valencia, wrote in an editorial in the Journal of Epidemiology và Community Health that most cases of domestic violence go unreported for both personal và societal reason. The personal reasons he listed included fearing embarrassment, retaliation, or economic consequences. The societal reasons included “imbalanced power relations for men và women in society, privacy of the family”, và “victyên blaming attitudes.”

Benoist’s đoạn phim began with her saying: “So I don’t normally bởi things like this but I’ve written something that I want to lớn giới thiệu, and I wanted it lớn stay my words và not have lớn edit it down for publishing. I’m gonmãng cầu read it out loud, and I’m quite nervous so bear with me.”

Next she said, “I am a survivor of domestic violence or IPV, intimate partner violence, which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting inkhổng lồ the ether.”

Many on social truyền thông called her revelation courageous và cape-worthy. Here are some examples:

In the video, Benoist then offered the following mô tả tìm kiếm of her previous partner: “He was a magnanimous person, who didn’t really give sầu you a choice not to lớn be drawn to him. He could be charming, funny, manipulative sầu, devious.”

This shows the challenges of avoiding & leaving such relationships. Abusers frequently do not come in wolf’s or White Martian"s clothing. In fact, quite the opposite. They can initially appear quite generous and “charming,” behaviors that can be switched on & off like a costume. Such personalities may not only lure you and keep you in such relationships but also make it more difficult for you và other people lớn believe that such a person can be abusive sầu. Wendy L. Patrichồng, Ph.D., wrote in an article for Psychology Today entitled “Behind the Façade: The Socially Charming Domestic Abuser” about how abusers frequently are able to lớn “disarm with charm” and how friends và co-workers can be shocked when the abuse is revealed.

Then, there is the sympathy that the abuser may evoke as Benoist described in a clip of her đoạn phim accompanying this tweet:

Abusers may actually pose themselves as victims, claiming that others are so unfair to them. They can, in turn, use this as justification for their abusive sầu behavior or make it seemingly hard for you to lớn blame them. In some cases, a cycle of abuse and then apologies may ensue. Even if the abuser does not ever apologize, a period of good & “charming” (there’s that word again) behavior may once again take place, leaving you either confused or momentarily hopeful that things can change.

In fact, you can even start believing that you somehow are inviting or deserve sầu the abuse. That you are not being sympathetic enough lớn the “plight” of the abuser. Or perhaps leaving the abuser will be abandoning hlặng or her.

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Paradoxically, you may even try harder khổng lồ get in the good graces of the abuser & become the abuser’s staunchest defender, deflecting any concerns raised by observers. After all, abuse may not start until you have sầu already become emotionally invested in the relationship, like being caught in quicks&.

Indeed, the relationship that Benoist described did not start off as abusive sầu. Abusive sầu relationships rarely vị. Actually, the opposite may occur as the person is on his or her best behavior at the beginning, trying khổng lồ woo you firmly into the relationship. As they say with “miracle” treatments & relationships, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Roller coasters that go very high, can also then end up going very low too.

As Benoist related, it was only over time that her partner progressively showed more & more signs of trying lớn control her, such as going through her phone without her permission và dictating what she should wear and what scenes she could và couldn’t persize as an actress. These are consistent with the danh mục of abusive tendencies provided by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence that includes “controlling every penny spent in the household”, “taking the victim’s money or refusing lớn give sầu them money for expenses, “controlling who the victyên ổn sees, where they go, or what they do”, “dictating how the victyên dresses, wears their hair, etc.”, và “stalking the victyên ổn or monitoring their victim’s every move (in person or also via the internet and/or other devices such as GPS tracking or the victim’s phone).”

All such controlling behaviors can prevent you from getting help. For example, if you go to the National Domestic Violence website, a pop-up warning appears that says, “Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible lớn completely clear. If you are afraid your mạng internet usage might be monitored, Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.”

Abuse, whether it is emotional, social, or physical, is often about power: someone trying lớn exert control over or dominate you. That’s why a person trying to control different aspects of your life can be a sign that more overt abuse may be on its way.

Indeed, according khổng lồ Benoist, this controlling behavior that she described eventually escalated khổng lồ violence. She indicated that “the stark truth is I learned what it felt like to be pinned down & 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 inkhổng lồ a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked.” As a đánh giá article in theAmerican Family Physicianexplained, IPV tends to get worse và more frequent over time.

As you can see in the đoạn phim, Benoist spoke of some of the impact that the IPV has had on her. Nonetheless, a 14-minute video is not long enough lớn cover the potential effects. In fact, it can be difficult to fully appreciate the potential far-reaching consequences that IPV can have sầu on you. IPV can affect your future relationships & your ability to lớn trust others. There is also the range of possible mental health effects such as damaged self-esteem, depression, & post-traumatic áp lực disorder. As a publication in theJournal of Family Violencedetailed, those subject khổng lồ IPV are at significantly higher risk to lớn engage in substance abuse as well.

Then there are the serious physical risks. The violence that Benoist described could vày major & in some cases irreparable damage. Beware of anyone who minimizes the risks or effects of physical violence. There is no situation where being “dragged by your hair across pavement” or “being punched so hard the wind was knocked out of you” is “just playing.” Sympathy for the abuser or fear can keep the victyên from reporting violence. However, keep in mind that once the “physical barrier” has been breached, the physical acts could get worse & worse over time. Tragically, IPV ends up in over 1,000 deaths each year in the United States, real people who sadly couldn’t extract themselves from dangerous situations in time.

That’s why shedding more light on the darkness that is IPV is so important. Benoist’s revelation hopefully will bring more attention for those who are suffering, frequently in silence. As you may have noticed in the tweets above sầu, her video clip did spark the creation of a new hashtag #istandwithmelissa on Twitter, accompanied by a rush of tư vấn for Benoist such as:

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