Christina Milian has accomplished so much in her life so far. She’s a singer, actor and has her own reality show. But when she was 18, she was in the worst relationship of her life.
Over a decade later, Milian is coming forward to share the story too many women have in common: being a victim of domestic violence. In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Milian discusses how the relationship started, what her ex was like and what transpired as it escalated to violence.
Milian is speaking out now to inspire other victims to do the same. She says, “My experience happened when I was 18 and I’ve been holding on to this for too long. I lived in fear for a long time. I’m here to save someone. I really want to help other people, especially the youth.”
She describes a relationship built on fear, as her boyfriend manipulated her into cutting ties with her family, friends and spending less time pursuing her career. Eventually, it escalated into “threats. He’d say, ‘if you leave me, I’ll bomb your mom’s house.'”
According to Milian, he would pick fights over nothing and create reasons to incite violence. She says, “I remember waking one morning and he was kicking me and stomping on me. It was over nothing. He accused me of lying about a boy. Then the violence escalated. When we had arguments, he would choke me and kick me.”
When she finally decided to leave, he would prey on her nurturing tendencies, “The days when I would gain strength to leave him, he would call me and say he was going to kill himself — literally!”
After trying 10 times to leave him, she eventually got a plane ticket to New York with the help of her record label. She has some advice for women in a similar situation: “Find a way to separate yourself and change your number. Visit family or friends. Go to a shelter. Do that for your own healing.”
In addition to her reality show Christina Milian Turned Up, Milian is now involved with Stop Attack, an app that takes video and audio recordings of attacks when activated.
If you have ever experienced any form of violence from your intimate partner — whether it is physical, sexual or psychological — please reach out for help. We hope that these sobering statistics help you see that you are not alone, and you are not to blame. Call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.