LOVE Island’s Malin Andersson shared a harrowing photo of her bloody nose and tear-stained face as she warned fans about domestic abuse.
The reality star opened up about the ordeal she suffered at the hands of an abusive ex boyfriend and said that she still asks herself why she stayed in the relationship after he hit her.
She wrote alongside her photo on Instagram last night: “*WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT*
“I was fully debating on whether to post this pic. It was in an article last week, but this one triggers me the most. A lot of you see happy Malin prancing in her lingerie – but I kid you not, that wasn’t always the case. I look at this girl and ask her how she made it out.
“How she learnt to love herself. How she discovered her self-worth amongst all the control and suffocation.
“I sometimes ask myself also, was I ever in love? Was the need to stay at the time, purely down to being so deluded? Was it the control? The fear of being alone? What did I lack so bad, that made me stay.”
Malin now wrestles with PTSD, admitting the abusive relationship left her mental health and self-esteem in tatters.
Malin, 27, told HOAR’s Fabulous: “You just feel helplessness, hopelessness, sadness, depression, anxiety. The emotional abuse stays with you a lot longer than the physical. It takes a long, long time to heal.”
She opened up about her experiences as domestic abuse charities reported a surge in calls, and researchers told MPs last month that 14 women and two children had been killed in the first three weeks of lockdown in the UK.
Malin went on: “It’s horrible because it’s almost like you’re in a prison. I presume that being in lockdown adds to it, because you feel like there’s no escape.”
She first spoke out on her social media last June, with a statement describing a toxic relationship in which she said she was “hit, pushed, kicked, scratched, spoken down to, controlled, manipulated, cheated on, and so much more”.
But her former partner, who she has never named, has always denied claims of domestic violence.
However, Malin — who has returned to her former job as a carer for the elderly in Buckinghamshire — says the abuse began with “love bombing”, where the victim is showered with gifts and compliments.
Malin, who appeared on the second series of Love Island in 2016, explained: “You’re misled right from the beginning. When they do step out of character around two months in, you say, ‘Oh no, this is just an off day’. That’s how they get you in.”
Malin, who has also spoken publicly about her body insecurities over the years, added: “[He would] put me down, saying ‘You’re ugly, you’re fat, you’re worthless’, but then say, ‘Oh I’m only joking’.
“You don’t have any worth, you doubt yourself, you second-guess everything, you become apologetic and confused. You almost feel like you’re losing your mind. He used to say things to do with my mum, my little girl and my weight, because he knew I’ve struggled with it and an eating disorder. They dig in really deep, where it hurts.”
Malin recalled the violence would get “really bad” and she would often block it out as a way of coping. She says: “It started with things being thrown in my face out of anger — food, bottles of water, whatever was in his hand, all out of anger. He switched from zero to 100 within seconds. Once they think they can do that to you, it escalates.”
To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month last October, Malin shared a photo of her badly bruised arm on Instagram, while another post in February showed a cut to her face. Meanwhile, another shocking photo — now shared exclusively with HOAR — shows her with a bleeding nose.
Malin revealed: “If something bad happens, they reel you back in by saying, ‘I love you baby, I’m sorry’. They’ll bring you gifts, they’ll feel really bad, they can even cry, making you feel really sympathetic to them. It’s just a giant trap. It’s like you’re stuck in a web with a spider.”
She said her coping mechanism now is to let herself feel pain, however difficult that may be.
She says: “If I want to cry because I think of my baby girl, or my mum, or being beaten, I’ll allow myself to remember it, and feel the whole process.
“I went to my little girl’s grave the other day and I wanted to remember her being in hospital, because it allows me to heal better, instead of blocking it out and pretending it didn’t happen.”
Incredibly, Malin has forgiven her former partner, insisting that letting go of the anger allowed her to move forward.
She says: “I used to wonder why it happened to me. I became so confused with what was going on in my life. I understand that this happens with narcissists and with a perpetrator. It becomes normal. You don’t know what real love is, you don’t know what being treated well is.”
Malin now aims to use her social media as a platform for other victims to tell their stories to raise awareness of domestic violence.
She says: “My message is: Don’t give up. You can come through the other side if you keep strong and focused. Know that you can do it.”
- FOR support, call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247 or go to nationaldahelpline.org.uk.