Warning: This article discusses domestic abuse and may be distressing to some readers.
Actor Melissa Benoist has revealed she's a survivor of domestic abuse, describing a raft of horrific violence in a candid Instagram video.
The star of TV shows like Glee and Supergirl, Benoist posted the 14-minute-long video simply captioned: "Life isn't always what it seems".
"I am a survivor of domestic violence, or IPV, Intimate Partner Violence," Benoist began, adding that was something she "never in her life expected to say".
The 31-year-old explained the abuse was "not violent at first", and she was able to explain the "dysfunction" away due to her partner's "insecurity and depression".
"He confided in me the tragedies that he had experienced, the injustices and the insecurities that he had been dealt. It was all very real and easy to sympathise."
Benoist went on to chronicle a shocking sequence of violence she claims was committed against her by her partner.
"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 not to value myself."
After an incident in which she said she had an iPhone thrown at her face, Benoist was forced to explain away the injuries during an appearance on The Tonight Show.
The actor suffered a torn iris, a nearly-ruptured eyeball, a broken nose and a fat lip, which she put down to a car accident and falling down the stairs.
Following her video post, Benoist wrote to her followers on Instagram thanking them for watching the clip.
"The long and winding road of healing and reconciliation has brought me to this moment where I feel strong enough to talk about my experience openly, honestly and without shame," she wrote.
"By sharing my story, hopefully I can empower others to seek help and extricate themselves from abusive relationships. Everyone deserves to be loved void of violence, fear and physical harm."
Where to find help and support:
Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)