Reality TV star visits Central Coast to discuss domestic violence

Reality TV star visits Central Coast to discuss domestic violence

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - A reality TV star was in town Friday to talk about an issue she said she tried to hide from cameras. As domestic violence awareness month comes to an end, helping victims to speak up continues.

If you watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you know who Taylor Armstrong is. 

Armstrong spoke at a domestic violence luncheon hosted by Monterey County’s YWCA.

Armstrong said, "I thought that I could keep my abuse from the cameras, but you learn very quickly in reality TV that things just eventually come out. You really can't hide from reality."

Another housewife spilled Armstrong’s secret not only among the cast, but for the country to see.

"I remember just kind of staring off into space in that moment. Almost in shock,” said Armstrong.

 With nowhere to hide, Armstrong chose to open up about her marriage to venture capitalist Russell Armstrong.

 "I was in an abusive marriage for six years, and ultimately ended up in the hospital with a titanium implant supporting my eye,” said Armstrong.

 According to the women's health survey, 40 percent of California women reported experiencing domestic abuse. Monterey County's YWCA said 75 restraining orders and cease and desist letters were issued last month. For survivor Adriana Samson, who now works at the YWCA, it was a shattered glass door that helped break her silence on a cold winter night.

 "He showed up one night and we just got into an argument and he started to strangle me. I remember just gathering the last bit of strength that I had in me and just pushed off as hard as I could. So at that point, he flew back and shattered our glass door on our entrance,” said Samson.      

Samson is separated now and getting a divorce. Both women said they are compelled to share their stories because it’s an issue you can't learn from books.

"You don't go to school and they will tell you, you know, these are warning signs, this is what domestic violence look like,” said Samson.

 Armstrong also wrote about her experience in her book, hiding from reality, which came out in 2012.




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