Support for Supergirl actress Melissa Benoist’s confession of past domestic abuse has now extended to an online hashtag, #IStandWIthMelissa, and a challenge from her husband, Chris Wood, who asked his online followers, “How do YOU show love?”
Benoist publicly revealed earlier this week that she is domestic abuse survivor. She did not name her abuser, but Wood is her second husband of just a few months, whom she wed over this year’s Labor Day weekend.
On Thursday, Wood used the viral hashtag #IStandWithMelissa in a tweet to wish followers a happy Thanksgiving.
“Happy Thanksgiving! I’m going to kiss my wife and hold her tenderly,” he tweeted. “All day. And every day. How do YOU show love?”
Benoist raised her domestic abuse allegations in an emotional video on Instagram on Wednesday. She claimed that she was a survivor of domestic violence, enduring months of abuse from a romantic partner.
“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 into the ether,” she said in the video.
“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 until my skin broke, shoved into a wall so hard the drywall broke, choked,” she said. “I learned to lock myself in rooms but quickly stopped because the door was inevitably broken down. I learned to not value any of my property — replaceable and irreplaceable. I learned not to value myself.”
Benoist finally took action when her partner threw an iPhone at her face, causing some major injuries.
“The impact tore my iris, nearly ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose,” she said. “My left eye swelled shut. I had a fat lip … Something inside of me broke, this was too far.”
After a discussion with a friend, Benoist decided to leave the relationship.
“Leaving was not a walk in the park. It is not an event, it’s a process. I felt complicated feelings of guilt for leaving and for hurting someone I had protected for so long, and yes, [a] mournful feeling of leaving something familiar,” she said. “But luckily, the people I let in, the more I was bolstered, I never lost the sense of clarity that kept telling me, ‘You do not deserve this.’”