"I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, intimate partner violence," Benoist read from a written statement. "Which is something I never in my life expected I would say, let alone be broadcasting into the ether." Benoist, who is now 31, never named her alleged abuser, but she did say that he was younger than her, whoever he is.
From there, Benoist continues by describing the circumstances of the relationship. Benoist had just gotten out of a relationship and wasn't initially looking to get into another. After becoming friends, the two started dating and the relationship quickly became, in Benoist's words, a "runaway freight train."
Apparently, the abuse wasn't physical at first. Initially, he was just incredibly jealous and would ask her to change into less revealing clothing, look through her phone, and ask her to avoid intimate scenes with men in her acting work.
The first incident of physical violence occurred five months into the relationship, Benoist explains, when her partner threw a smoothie in her face. She kept the incident to herself out of shame. Things only got worse from there. "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 the pavement, head-butted, pinched until my skin broke, slammed against the wall so hard the drywall broke, choked," she said.
When she locked herself in rooms, she said, the door was broken down, and she learned not to value property or "myself." After each attack, the alleged assaulter would leave her in the bathtub with the water running, and would eventually return to apologize.
In the video, Benoist says she knew he wouldn't change, but she fooled herself into thinking she could help him. A turning point came when he threw an iPhone at her, breaking her nose and nearly rupturing her eyeball.
Eventually, Benoist felt more comfortable sharing her secret and concludes by saying that IPV is a chronically underreported crime. "I want those statistics to change, and I hope that telling my story will prevent more stories like this from happening," she said. "If you are enduring what I went through and you see this, you might be able to find the tiny straw that will break the camel's back."
Although she never names her abuser, she was married to actor Blake Jenner, 27, has been linked to photographer Nick Vorderman, 37, and is now married to actor Chris Wood, 31.