On the outside, Sarah Hyland has it all, but as she’s granted a long-term restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, we realize that domestic violence can happen to anyone.
Just weeks after Hyland and Matt Prokop announced their split in August, news that Hyland acquired a temporary restraining order against her former love hit the media. Allegations of serious physical and emotional abuse were made and Hyland revealed in court documents that the violence had, in fact, been going on for years. Now, TMZ is reporting that the Los Angeles Superior Court has granted Hyland a three-year permanent restraining order, which requires Prokop to stay 100 yards away from Hyland and her dog, in addition to her home, not to go to her job or workplace and not to own or possess a gun or ammunition.
Hyland was granted all of the protections she asked for and the judge’s orders definitely reinforce the gravity of the situation. It’s obvious that people believe that Prokop is a serious threat to the Modern Family star’s safety.
Hyland doesn’t seem a likely candidate to be a victim. By the same token, Prokop doesn’t seem to fit the profile of a perpetrator, either. While it’s common for victims of domestic abuse to paint a different picture than reality, here are some ways Hyland and Prokop took their facade to the next level.
1. Their social media presence
Both Prokop and Hyland were extremely active on Instagram and Twitter. Both of them were constantly posting pictures of each other and appeared to be a 100 percent happy, healthy, loving couple. If trolls ever attacked, they were both each other’s defenders. There was no sign of any kind of strife or violence at any time. Side note: Despite the legal ruling, Prokop’s profile picture on Instagram is still one of himself with Hyland and his profile picture on Twitter is with Hyland’s dog, which he was ordered to stay away from.
2. His appearance on Modern Family
In 2012, Prokop made a guest appearance on Hyland’s show and he played a character who was supposed to be the foil to Haley’s (Hyland) boyfriend. Prokop was the clean-cut, intellectual boy who Haley’s mom was pushing on her to keep her away from her loser-ish love. Prokop was so convincing in the role and his nerdy, goofy demeanor gave no hint that there was a layer of dangerous violence lurking just below the surface. We never would have guessed that he would be capable of choking Hyland to the point where she feared for her life or that he would threaten to kill her dog. He must be a pretty good actor.
3. Her history as a fighter
Hyland has experienced immense success as an actress and she’s fought through so much to get it. On top of the normal struggles anyone trying to come up in Hollywood faces, Hyland battled some pretty serious medical issues, as well. In 2012, Hyland revealed that she suffers from a potentially fatal disease called kidney dysplasia and she had undergone a kidney transplant. Hyland is still thriving and always seems so happy-go-lucky and bubbly. It’s hard to believe she was subjected to another dark battle and dealing with violence at home.
This can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It could be happening right now to someone you know and love — your super-strong sister, your ever-optimistic best friend, your cousin, your aunt, your ambitious coworker. It can even happen to you.
If you or someone you know needs help to escape domestic violence, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 to talk with a trained advocate 24/7.