Debby Ryan Speaks Out About Abusive Relationship While Promoting ‘Love Is Respect’ Initiative
Debby Ryan, the Disney Channel star, revealed she was in an abusive relationship in a recent interview with Fox News.
Debby Ryan Reveals Past Abusive Relationship
Ryan, who stars as the titular character in Disney Channel’s hit series, Jessie, opened up about her past experience in an abusive relationship while promoting her partnership with Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away program, an organization that focuses on raising awareness about abusive relationships.
Ryan, 22, announced she was joining the Don’t Look Away initiative in February, but only recently revealed that she herself had been in an abusive relationship.
“I got to a point [in a relationship] of being grabbed, being locked out of rooms, being screamed at, having things thrown at me, cussed at, begged for forgiveness, cried to, all while trying to keep it together and justifying this relationship. And that was the point that I realized maybe there was a red flag,” Ryan said in an interview with Fox 411.
During her interview, Ryan stressed that one of the things that struck her about her experience was that she herself didn’t recognize the signs that she was in an abusive relationship, adding that the educational component to Don’t Look Away appealed to her. Don’t Look Away works with Love Is Respect – a program aimed at targeting young adults. Love Is Respect provides a phone number to those who are in abusive relationships or worry that that they could be. Users can text the number and receive a peer advocate and confidential, anonymous counseling.
“What was weird was that I didn’t realize all the unhealthy things – the digital abuse, him demanding my phone passwords, the mental abuse, the manipulation, the emotional abuse,” Ryan said.
Ryan also revealed that it was her friends and family that made her suspect she wasn’t in a good relationship, but admitted that it took her some time to work up to letting the relationship go.
“People asking me questions was a little bit of what woke me up, but I think it was definitely a moment. He threw his phone at me, and it shattered. I ducked and it shattered and… it was insane. It was such a heavy situation. I didn’t realize until it got to that point that it didn’t add up and something was wrong,” Ryan said.
Ryan is currently promoting her new partnership with Mary Kay’s Don’t Look Away and just finished the final season of Jessie, currently airing on the Disney Channel. In the future, the young actress, singer, producer and director says she wants to focus on a career behind the camera.