Justice

Comedian Beth Stelling Shares The Truth About Abusive Relationships

December 30th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

Comedian Beth Stelling is receiving ample sympathy and love on social media after sharing an Instagram post about allegedly being raped and abused by her ex-boyfriend.

Stelling, who recently released her album "Simply The Beth" and has a Comedy Central special, wrote that she struggled with the decision to go public about the abuse because she and her former boyfriend both live in Los Angeles and she didn't want to hurt her professional prospects. After many on social media showered Stelling with kind words, she shared a follow-up Instagram post to finish her thoughts and say that she is in a "line of smart, funny women who experienced [abuse] from the same man in our L.A. community."

Stelling's first Instagram photo below shows one image of Stelling smiling with a microphone onstage beside snapshots of bruises all over her body. Stelling wrote that while she's had an "amazing year," she also went through a break-up after allegedly being abused by her ex for a long time. She wrote in a second post that she "couldn't stay in our relationship waiting for it to happen again and won't keep it a secret any longer so a future woman has a chance of avoiding it."

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A photo posted by Beth Stelling (@bethstelling) on

 

A photo posted by Beth Stelling (@bethstelling) on

"There are many reasons not to make an abusive relationship public, mostly fear," she wrote in her first Instagram post. "Scared of what people will think, scared it makes me look weak or unprofessional. When I broke up with my ex this summer, it wasn't because I didn't love him, it was because of this. And I absolutely relapsed and contacted him with things I shouldn’t have, but there are no 'best practices' with this."

She added that she struggles when people ask in polite conversation why she and her former flame are no longer together. She also said what happened to her is "embarrassing," a common feeling for abuse victims to feel even though they have nothing to be ashamed of.

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"When friends or comics ask why we broke up it's not easy or comfortable to reply; it doesn't seem like the appropriate thing to say at a stand-up show, a party or a wedding," she continued. "It's embarrassing. I feel stupid. After being verbally, physically abused and raped, I dated him for two more months. It's not simple."

Stelling also wrote that her ex seemed concerned that he might become the subject of one of her standup acts, because she talks a lot about her personal life in her standup as many comedians do. She initially agreed to consider him when writing her standup acts, but ultimately concluded that it's not good to bottle up her experiences.

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"After I broke up with him he said, 'You're very open and honest in your stand-up, and I just ask that you consider me when you talk about your ex because everyone knows who you're talking about,'" she wrote. "I don't want revenge or to hurt him now, but it's unhealthy to keep this inside because my stand-up is pulled directly from my life. It's how I make my living. My personal is my professional."

She wrapped up the post by saying that she has already started incorporating this experience into her standup and that another ex-girlfriend of this ex reached out to say that he abused her too.

Stelling's post has received more than 4,400 likes on Instagram and garnered many positive comments.

Beth Stelling Instagram comments

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Stelling also shared a post of gratitude about her friend and fellow comic Sam Morril for helping her when she got out of her bad relationship:

 

A photo posted by Beth Stelling (@bethstelling) on

Women ages 18 to 34 have the highest risk of falling victim to domestic violence, according to Safe Horizon, the largest domestic abuse victims’ services agency in the United States. More than 4 million women are victims of physical assault and/or rape by their partners, and more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes annually.

RELATED: A DOMESTIC ABUSE VICTIM HAS A MESSAGE THAT'S BEING HEARD AROUND THE WORLD