A Colombian fitness model has shared photos and opened up about the abuse she suffered from her boyfriend over the course of their two year relationship.
In a post on her Instagram account, Estefania Pereira, wrote about the physical and mental abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her partner, from when she was aged 24 until she was 26.
Now 27 and living and working in Miami, the model revealed she is starting to feel healthy once again, and has posted her story in order to empower others like her, to ‘appreciate themselves’ and never allow themselves to be abused.
Sharing her story on social media, Estefania wrote:
I am able to upload this today because I am starting to feel healthy, my heart has healed and I am well.
If you asked me how it all started, I would not know how to answer you. You do not even notice it, everything goes on escalating until the words or insults end and the physical abuse begins.
Today I could not tell you when the first blow was because they were too many.
I was blind, waiting for the person I fell in love with to return.
I was an abused woman between the age of 24 and 26. They were the saddest two years of my life. I felt dead inside, but now I see life differently and I love and respect myself.
There was so much manipulation that I ended up blaming my actions.
It controls your head so much that it makes you believe that you provoked it, that it is your fault. And the saddest thing is that you believe it.
The images she shared show cuts and bruise to her hands and legs, as well as marks on her chest.
Wanting to help others who may be in the same situation, Estefania said:
There is simply no correct age to live a mistreatment. Do not allow this, because everything that is allowed is repeated.
More than telling my story I wanted to open my heart, I know that every day there are many women living this and out of fear they remain silent.
Hopefully this post will help them open their eyes. Life is too short to live unhappy.
The 27-year-old fitness model and personal trainer did not name her alleged abuser, and did not say exactly when or where the reported abuse took place. It is also not clear whether she reported it to the police.
Fans thanked Estefania for sharing her story though, saying: ‘Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. You are wonderful and perfect.’
While another said: ‘I am happy you made it out alive, thank you for sharing, I hope women see this and realise true love would never hurt them.’
Estefania has since posted on Instagram thanking her fans for their support:
Thank you for all those beautiful messages that left me, I am already well, calm and happy, I wish you all the happiness of the world.
Remember that life is too short to live unhappy
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Do not suffer in silence.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.