Debby Ryan opened up about an abusive relationship she had in the past. The ‘Jessie’ star is taking part in Mary Kay’s “Don’t Look Away” domestic violence campaign and she spoke of her her desire to help others in a similar situation.
The 21-year-old actress and singer who portrays the title character on Disney Channel’s popular series ‘Jessie’ spoke at length in an interview with Fox News’ FOX411 about her decision to join the Mary Kay’s “Don’t Look Away” domestic violence campaign, revealing her reasons for being acutely able to identify with what victims of abuse are going through.
She told the publication, “I got to a point in a relationship that I was in where I realized that every relationship … love is hard. Love is freaking hard, and fighting for a relationship is so much work and can be so beautiful, and if you’re going to fight so hard for something that does not make you stronger and better and build you up, something’s wrong.”
She went on to add, “And I think that we, or I, or whatever, are taught that here are signs that your relationship, something is wrong. I got to a point of being grabbed, being locked out of rooms, being screamed at, having things thrown at me, cussed at, begged for forgiveness, cried to, all while trying to keep it together and justifying this relationship. And that was the point that I realized maybe there was a red flag. What was weird was that I didn’t realize all the unhealthy things — the digital abuse, him demanding my phone passwords, the mental abuse, the manipulation, the emotional abuse.”
When asked at what point she realized she needed help, she spoke of the turning point, and said of her abuser, “He threw his phone at me and it shattered. I ducked and it shattered and … it was insane. It was such a heavy situation. I didn’t realize until it got to that point that it didn’t add up and something was wrong. It was crazy.”
Ryan went on to note that in contrast as she was suffering such abuse she was “so strong” in her career and had begun directing and also had a producing contract and was heading up her own series.
The ‘Don’t Look Away’ campaign is in partnership with the organization loveisrespect.org and it offers the first-ever text-based help line for teens and women who are in an abusive relationship. If facing danger and in need immediate help they can text for help. With such a popular star as Debby Ryan as the face of the campaign one hopes that it will raise awareness both of the service and help to dispel stereotypes that still persist.
Debby Ryan’s full interview is here. She speaks about the epidemic of domestic violence in the video below.