Note: This story contains discussion of themes including domestic violence and abuse.
Love Island star Malin Andersson has opened up about her experience of domestic violence, comparing her abusive relationship to living "in a prison".
Malin, who appeared on Love Island back in 2016, has shared her story of domestic violence and abuse in a bid to raise awareness of the issue and to help other women who may be facing a similar situation. "Don't give up," she advised.
Speaking to The Sun, Malin explained that she experienced both physical and emotional abuse, and that it was difficult for her to acknowledge what was happening. "You're misled right from the beginning," she said.
"When they do step out of character, you say, 'Oh no, this is just an off day'. That's how they get you in."
Reflecting on the impact of the abuse, Malin admitted that she began to "doubt" herself and "second-guess everything" during the relationship. "You don't have any worth, you doubt yourself, you second-guess everything, you become apologetic and confused.
"You almost feel like you're losing your mind. He used to say things to do with my mum, my little girl, and my weight, because he knew I've struggled with it and an eating disorder," she revealed. "They dig in really deep, where it hurts."
Malin said that the physical violence she suffered also "escalated" quickly, adding: "He switched from zero to 100 within seconds."
As well as warning others of the often manipulative nature of abusers, Malin offered a message of support and strength to those experiencing violence and abuse. "My message is – don't give up," she said.
"You can come through the other side if you keep strong and focused. Know that you can do it."
Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) or Women’s Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk). Both charities run the 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Violence Helpline, 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
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