Daily Telegraph columnist Sarrah Le Marquand believes it is time for domestic goddess Nigella Lawson to speak up and take a stand against domestic violence
A NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD woman from Las Vegas has become the unofficial ambassador in the fight against domestic violence, harnessing the power of social media to share her story with the world.
Aspiring model Mori Gabriella Montgomery — who goes by the username bambiiiii_ — took her story to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, amassing hundreds of thousands of followers by choosing to tell her story about being beaten by the man she was dating.
“I met my ex through my best friend and some friends and we just all hung out,” she told news.com.au. “We were really close and hung out everyday.
“He was always jealous and extra aggressive. We were playing around one day and he slapped me really hard. He apologised straight after so I didn’t think anything of it really, until this all happened,” she said.
On social media, Ms Montgomery candidly detailed the February incident which led to her being hospitalised:
This might be a little graphic but I just want to let everyone know that I am okay. I am a survivor of domestic violence with a boy I dated for 8 months. I really thought everything was fine but he constantly questioned me about cheating and flirting. Nonsense. I never looked at someone the way he looked at me. Thought I loved this boy. How can someone that ‘loves’ me do this to me? The scars on my chest are way worse and extend down to my right nipple, completely scarred. The skin on my shoulder has been completely skinned. And I have bruising on my rib cage, neck, and my muscles. I was kicked out of a moving vehicle, then beaten and dragged, as I blacked out and was left lying there in my own puddle of blood. Doctors said I could have died if not made it when I did. I am so blessed and beyond lucky to be alive and have so much support from friends, family, and strangers. As I try to recover I ask to please keep me in your prayers. I have to wear a neck brace for 3-4 weeks, an arm cast and I can barely walk for now. Thank you for all the love. I hope to be an inspiration to women and anyone involved in domestic violence.
“I pressed charges,” said Ms Montgomery, who has moved cities to distance herself from her now-ex boyfriend.
“Everyone’s shocked that I’m okay with talking about it, let alone to the world, but my way of coping is talking about it. I needed love and support, and that’s what I’ve got,” she said.
After sharing her initial story, Ms Montgomery has been posting updates of her progress on social media, reminding her followers time and time again that she is not a victim — she is a survivor.
“I am recovering fairly well and instead of relying on people to help me eat, drink, walk, put clothes on, etc, I am slowly but surely learning to do these things on my own.
“I quite often worry and have anxiety attacks. I ask myself in my thoughts constantly, how could he do this to me? Why? I try not to ponder too much about it because the memories of our relationship are a little too hard to bear.
“I am more than grateful to be alive and to share my story to the world. I’m trying to remain strong not only for you guys, but for myself.
“I ask to please continue to keep me in your prayers for I have a long journey of recovery ahead of me. Not just physically but emotionally as well,” she wrote on Facebook.
One woman dies every week from domestic violence in Australia, and in America where Ms Montgomery is from, spousal homicide is the number one killer of young African American women.
“Domestic violence is such an overlooked crime,” says Montgomery. “Nobody truly understands how often tragedies happen due to spouse mistreatment. I plan to put an end to the silence.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic violence, call 1800 RESPECT — the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service — on 1800 737 732, or visit www.1800respect.org.au.