Gabriella Bambii (@Bambiiiii_) is an aspiring Victoria’s Secret model who, from the looks of her usual social media pictures, has the looks that might bring her closer to her dreams. But the UK-based beauty shocked Instagram followers and social media friends after she posted unrecognizable pictures of herself mangled, battered and bruised, that have since gone viral.
If the graphic images weren’t disturbing enough, underneath them she retold her account of the domestic violence attack from her then-boyfriend who kicked her out of a moving vehicle and dragged her, leaving her laying in a pool of her own blood. While viewing these photos made me feel sorry for Gabriella, I would never call her a victim. Gabriella says she shared these details in hopes of inspiring women in her situation to get help:
This night 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. Non sense. 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. As I try to recover I ask to please keep me in your prayers. I have to wear a neck brace for 3-4 weeks, an arm cast and I can barely walk for now. Thank you for all the love. I hope to be an inspiration to women and anyone involved in domestic violence.
The number one killer of African-American women ages 15 to 34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. In 2011, Black women were murdered by males at a rate of 2.61 per 100,000 in single victim/single offender incidents and in 94% of cases it was by someone they knew. Gabriella’s story shows that there’s still much work to be done when it comes to protecting and empowering victims to speak out.
After sharing her abuse details, Gabriella went through another attack on social media, with commenters speculating on why she was beaten and suggesting that maybe she “deserved” it. Some asked why she stayed when “saw the signs.” The criticism spewed is the victim blaming response that helps contribute to the disturbing fact that most domestic violence incidents are never reported. No one who goes through a domestic violence attack should ever have to defend themselves against this kind of backlash, though Gabriella did address her critics in followup posts below:
The good news here is that her abusive boyfriend was arrested. The bad news—he made bail and was released from jail, just like that. But Gabriella is not letting these odds stack against her. She’s using her voice as a platform for young women dealing with domestic violence and her refusal to be a victim is what touches my heart the most.
African-Americans are victimized by intimate partners at significantly higher rates than persons of any other race. Gabriella is not alone. Many young Black women suffer through domestic violence, but she reminds us all that we don’t have to. The beauty in Gabriella’s story is that after bravely sharing such a horrific event, there has been an outpouring of support. She’s gone from 1000 Instagram followers to over 60K and most of them are offering support and encouragement. And we’re one of them.
Photos Of Gabriella Before The Domestic Violence Attack:
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence call The Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 where trained advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially.
Read More About What You Can Do To Combat Domestic Violence:
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