This morning, I was shocked and horrified to hear Modern Family star Sarah Hyland’s terrifying story about her abusive ex-boyfriend, Matthew Prokop. Sarah and Matthew dated for close to five years, but ended things a few weeks ago. They broke up because of Matthew’s abuse, and Sarah recently had to take a restraining order out against him. In court, she said that Matthew had choked her before, leaving her with a sore throat and vocal injuries.
According to reports, Sarah got her Modern Family mom, actress Julie Bowen, to help her end the relationship because she was so scared – which was good, because Sarah said he threw a lighter at her. Sarah also reported that, after the breakup, Matthew was sending her endless text messages and threatening her by saying she would never see her dog again, or that he would burn her house down.
This report is so upsetting and awful to hear. Judging from their cute past Instagram photos, I never would have guessed that Matthew was both physically and emotionally abusive towards Sarah. They always seemed like the cutest, happiest couple. This just goes to show that you never know what is actually going on in a relationship behind the scenes – and that’s really scary.
The way Matthew treated, and is treating, Sarah is unacceptable. I’m so happy that Sarah was able to end the relationship and get a restraining order against him, and I really hope that she can now begin the process of moving on. Unfortunately, Sarah is not the only girl out there to deal with a relationship like this – far from it. So many women are dating guys who abuse them. While it’s easy to tell them to just end things, it’s much harder to actually end things. If you’re dating someone who abuses you, please follow in Sarah’s footsteps and break up with this person. I know how hard and scary this can be. Here are 8 tips on how to end an abusive relationship – or at least to start thinking about it.
Acknowledge The AbuseBefore you can end an abusive relationship, you need to acknowledge that your partner is, in fact, abusing you. It's really difficult to do this, but please realize that your partner should never hurt you physically in any way. If he/she ever has, that means they are abusing you. They also shouldn't be emotionally abusing you by manipulating and controlling you. Acknowledge that something is wrong so you can fix it. Source: ShutterStock
Believe In YourselfI know this is so hard, but seriously - you can do it. In order to get through this, you need to believe in yourself and your strength. You need to know that you are strong enough to do this, and that you deserve this. You deserve better than someone you love hurting you, and you deserve a relationship where you are happy all the time, not scared or lonely. Please know that you are worth it, no matter what this person may say otherwise. Source: ShutterStock
Get Help From A Friend or Family MemberEnding an abusive relationship is really tough, and luckily, no one says you have to do it alone. If you have a trusted friend or family member you can turn to, go to them. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed because this abuse was never your fault. Don't feel weird talking to them about it - if they love you, they will help you. Just reach out. Having someone by your side to guide you through this will be so helpful. Source: ShutterStock
Get Professional Help If NeededIf you don't have a friend or family member to turn to, know that you have other options. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). You can find a therapist or psychologist to talk to. You can go to a counselor at school, or a teacher, or a principal. You can even go to the cops. Just go to someone. Source: ShutterStock
Plan It OutIf you've decided to end an abusive relationship, don't just do it on a whim. This is something you need to plan out for your safety. Think about the best time to do it, do it in a public place, and try to get someone to go with you (more on that in a minute). Decide what you're going to say and where you're going to go afterwards. Having a plan might make you feel more confident. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Do It AloneIf your partner is physically abusive or has threatened you before, you shouldn't attempt to end things when it's just the two of you. Your partner could snap and really hurt you, or do something even worse. Bring someone along who can protect you, and make sure things stay safe. Also, your partner might be on better behavior if there is someone else there to witness things. Source: ShutterStock
Go Somewhere You Feel Safe AfterwardsIf your partner has been abusing you, you never know what they might actually do after a breakup. They could come after you, or try to do something else equally horrible. Don't be alone during this time. Stay somewhere you feel safe, like with family or a friend. Keep yourself surrounded by people who love you. I'm not saying you have to hide out, but you should just make sure you feel safe. Source: ShutterStock
Get The Police Involved If NecessaryIf your boyfriend or ex starts threatening you, won't leave you alone, or is basically stalking you, you may need to get a restraining order like Sarah Hyland had to do. Don't be afraid to get the police involved in this. It might be enough to scare this person off. Your safety is the most important thing here. Source: ShutterStock
Have you been in an abusive relationship? How did you end your abusive relationship? What did I forget? Tell me in the comments.