Trigger Warning: This article discusses domestic abuse and sexual assault and may be distressing to some readers.
Abigail Breslin has used her platform to tell her story of past domestic abuse, sharing details about what she described as a "very abusive relationship".
On October 14, the Stillwater star explained that she chose to share her story with the goal of raising awareness about Domestic Violence Awareness Month to help save other people in similar circumstances.
Taking to Instagram, Breslin's post detailing her experience began with a trigger warning to let her followers know that the post discussed topics of sexual assault and domestic violence. Then, she began to share parts of her experience in the two-year toxic relationship.
"I was in a very abusive relationship for close to 2 years," she wrote, adding, "It all started out perfectly, I was so in love. Unfortunately, my abuser took advantage of my innocence and naïveté and the relationship subsequently became violent."
According to Breslin, her abuser would allegedly become physically violent with her "on a regular basis", as well as lock her in rooms. In the post, she recalled a moment when she was "forced to pretend everything was ok and normal while dealing with intense injuries... injuries most people didn't even see".
Along with the physical abuse, Breslin said that there was a pattern of verbal abuse, including "a plethora of put downs" and "shaming".
"I felt so unworthy of anyones [sic] love," she wrote, adding, "I felt ugly and hated. I felt like I deserved less than dirt. I was certain, there must be something inherently WRONG with ME".
Explaining that she felt the "loneliest" she'd ever felt during that time in her life, Breslin credited her family and friends with helping her get out of the toxic relationship.
"I am beyond thankful for the support of my family and friends who played an instrumental and invaluable role in helping me leave this horrible situation," she said. "I will forever be indebted to those closest to me for them not only assisting me but, BELIEVING me."
The Little Miss Sunshine star also revealed that she now suffers from complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but has since gotten "much better than it was" in the first two to three years after the relationship. Now, she's in a "wonderful, helpful, happy and amazing relationship" with her fiancé Ira Kunyansky.
"I still occasionally have nightmares, and certain things still do trigger me," she explained, adding, "I am still healing".
Hoping that sharing her experience will reach people in similar situations, she made sure to speak to other survivors directly.
"If you are in an abusive relationship currently, you CAN get out of it," she said. "I know it seems impossible and terrifying, but you have survived so much and you CAN survive leaving if you have the right tools and support." She also included the number for NCADV's 24-hour helpline."
In April 2017, Breslin first shared her experience with abuse, writing that she had been sexually assaulted by a past romantic partner. She told her story to show others why victims don't always report their sexual assaults.
"To say that rapes reported are the only rapes that count, contributes to the ideology that survivors of unreported rape don't matter," she wrote. "It's unfair, untrue and unhelpful."
If you or a loved one have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 (24/7 counselling).