Ashley Graham has just revealed that she was in an abusive relationship — and we’re listening

Ashley Graham is all over the news lately. She posted a super cute and body positive photo of herself, is talking openly about loving her body and the shape of her thighs, and just put out a stunning (and successful!) swimsuit line, just in time for summer. Now, she’s on the cover of the August issue of Cosmopolitan, and in the issue she’s getting real about some very important things.

In the Cosmopolitan interview, Graham has revealed that while she’s currently in a healthy, stable relationship (she and Justin Ervin tied the knot six years ago and have been happily married ever since), a prior relationship she was in was not so good. She previously had an abusive, alcoholic partner, and had this to say about how he treated her: “He was abusive in more than one way … He threw a couch on me. He came home drunk. I was sitting on it, and he flipped it upside down. I remember my elbow being jammed but thinking, He didn’t hit me; he was just really angry, you know?”

So many women experience domestic violence, and yet, it’s always really hard to leave and sometimes even harder to talk about — we all think that no one will understand, that others can’t possibly understand what you’re going through. That’s why it’s so important that women like Ashley Graham, who have such a huge platform, speak out.

She told Cosmopolitan, “You hear stories of women who say the exact same thing — I wasn’t showing up with bruises, he wasn’t beating me every day. Looking back, I should’ve left, but I was an insecure woman in a terrible relationship who did not know herself.”

It can be so hard to leave abusive relationships, for so many reasons. There’s financial abuse, and the loss of self esteem that comes when you’re in this relationship dynamic. However she did it, we’re so glad she’s in a better place now, and we hope that if any of our readers are currently in an abusive relationship, you can find the help you need.

If you are in a relationship where domestic violence is a factor, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

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