Ashley Graham’s appearance in Cosmopolitan has already made waves, what with her response to Amy Schumer’s comments on being considered plus-size. But, in that same interview, the model opened up about a past abusive relationship — and she made an important point about domestic violence.
Graham has been happily married to Justin Ervin for six years, but she describes a previous relationship with an abusive partner who was also an alcoholic: “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?”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. And unfortunately, stories like Graham’s are all too common, since 60% of incidents like these happen in the home.
“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,” Graham said. “Looking back, I should’ve left, but I was an insecure woman in a terrible relationship who did not know herself.”
Graham’s comments shed light on the unfortunate prevalence of abusive relationships and how difficult it can be to leave. They also serve as an important reminder that intimate partner abuse comes in many forms; it doesn’t have to happen every day or leave bruises to be considered abuse.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.