Mori Gabriella Montgomery made international news this week when media outlets caught wind that the 19-year-old had recently posted pictures of injuries she says were caused by a violent encounter with her former boyfriend. Montgomery, an aspiring model, alleges the man pushed her out of a moving vehicle, then beat and dragged her until she blacked out.
Montgomery explained the brutal attack on Twitter:
“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.”
The incident occurred last month and Montgomery has been using her social media presence to update her followers about her recovery and make it known she is not a victim, but instead a survivor.
“Pity is not what I ask from you,” she wrote in one post on her Twitter account. “I am well aware that those pictures may look as if I want attention, but that is far from my goal here.”
Her goal? To raise awareness about partner violence and shine a light on the very real dangers many women face every day.
“Domestic violence is such an overlooked crime,” Montgomery said in an interview with news.com.au. “Nobody truly understands how often tragedies happen due to spouse mistreatment. I plan to put an end to the silence.”
Some have chided Montgomery for taking to social media to share her ordeal, accusing the teen of merely using the event to get attention. Montgomery, on the other hand, denied this claim, and explained why she chose to go public.
“Do you people not know the difference between ‘milking’ something and ‘raising awareness,” Montgomery asked on Twitter. “AWARENESS. Means to [make] everyone AWARE. Thank you. Don’t ever tell me I’m ‘milking’ this. This isn’t fun/joke or about popularity. I posted my story to MY followers, cant [sic] help who shares it.”
Montgomery said she was with her boyfriend for eight months when the incident occurred, and although many have accused her of welcoming the attack by staying in an abusive relationship (or provoking it), she argued this couldn’t be further from the truth, explaining this was “the first and last time” he beat her.
According to news.com.au, the teen pressed charges against her ex, and has even relocated to a new state to get away from him.
We commend Montgomery for being brave enough to share her story, and we hope her ordeal helps other young women to feel empowered enough to leave a violent relationship.