Chris Wood praises wife Melissa Benoist for sharing details of previous domestic violence

Chris Wood praises wife Melissa Benoist for sharing details of previous domestic violence
Chris Wood praises wife Melissa Benoist for sharing details of previous domestic violence  

"Supergirl" actress Melissa Benoist's husband, Chris Wood, is supporting his wife after the actress opened up about being a victim of domestic violence.

On Thursday, Wood joined in on the #IStandWithMelissa hashtag on Twitter and wrote that he will be spending the day loving on his wife.

"Happy Thanksgiving! I'm going to kiss my wife and hold her tenderly. All day. And every day," Wood tweeted. "How do YOU show love?"

In a nearly 15-minute Instagram video posted on Wednesday, Melissa Benoist shared details about being a survivor of domestic violence.

"I'm quite nervous, so bear with me," Benoist began the video, reading an account of her experiences shared to her verified Instagram account. "I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence, which is something I never in my life expected, let alone be broadcasting into the ether."

Benoist, 31, does not name the accuser other than to say he is younger than her. She said the two first met when she was newly single and they began as friends.

"Once we started dating, it was a zero to 60 catapult," she said. "I wasn't just a rag doll letting myself be swept away into a relationship I didn't want, but I was unsure about what I was getting into from the get-go, as strange as that might sound."

Benoist said she began turning down job offers and auditions because her now-ex voiced concerns over her filming scenes where she kissed or flirted with a co-star on-screen. She said his controlling comments were "alarmingly easy to excuse" at first, because she was worried about his own feelings.

"In retrospect, I see that each red flag followed a very clear path on the way to things becoming violent," she said. "Because violence is so often proceeded by mental, emotional or psychological abuse, which are all very sneaky things."

Once the alleged physical abuse began, Benoist added, she didn't speak out "for shame, for fear of future attacks, for reluctance to actually admit any of it was happening." She listed details of abuse, including being "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."

Something would "click" at a certain point, during which her ex would realize the pain he had caused and apologized enough to bring back some "semblance of a loving relationship," she said, adding she thought she could help him change enough to see that violence wasn't the way to solve issues.

"I knew how he was treating me was wrong but I thought the consequences he would suffer if I exposed his behavior outweighed suffering through it," she said.

A turning point came when he threw an iPhone at her face, Benoist alleged. She suffered a torn iris and the impact nearly "ruptured my eyeball, lacerated my skin and broke my nose."

"This wasn't going to be easy to hide, let alone fix, and something inside of me broke," she said. "This was too far… This is an injury that is never going to fully heal. My vision is never going to be the same. Emotionally after that, I was done. I keenly felt that whatever love was, it certainly wasn't what I was going through."

Benoist said knew she needed to get out of the relationship, but felt she had ostracized herself so much in the relationship, she didn't think she had anybody to turn to. But she said a friend visited her soon after and suspected something was going on. She asked Benoist if she was a victim of domestic violence.

"I can't describe the amount of relief and solace I felt," Benoist said. "She held me and said, 'You know what you have to do now, don't you?' "

"I had to get out," she continued. "And I took careful steps to leave him as quickly as our relationship had sped into my life. 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 someone I had protected for so long and, yes, mournful feelings of leaving something that was so familiar."

Benoist was previously married to fellow "Glee" alum Blake Jenner, 27, for less than two years before they filed for divorce in December 2016. She married "Supergirl" co-star Chris Wood in September 2019.


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