Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Escaping An Abusive Relationship

“I’m a different person now.”

Photo by Disney ABC Television Group .


Witherspoon’s survival story could give hope to others stuck in abusive relationships.

There are many reasons why people become stuck in abusive relationships. Victims are often trapped in an invisible cage of fear, violence, psychological manipulation, and financial control that prevents them from believing there’s hope on the other side.

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling, actress Reese Witherspoon opened up about how leaving an abusive relationship helped her realize her life’s ambitions. Stories of survival from public figures like Witherspoon can help those stuck in abusive relationships to seek help and find hope.

On an episode of the “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations ” podcast, Winfrey asked Witherspoon and Kaling, “What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to fulfill your destiny?” Witherspoon had a brave response: “For me, probably leaving an abusive relationship.”


“Was it physically? Verbally? Both?” Oprah asked. “Psychological, verbal, um, and a uh. Yeah,” Witherspoon responded. “A line got drawn in the sand and it got crossed,” Witherspoon said, explaining the moment she knew she had to leave. “My brain just switched. I knew it was going to be very difficult, but I just couldn’t go any further. It was profound ― and I was young, really young.”

Leaving the abusive relationship gave Witherspoon a power she didn’t expect — one that would help propel her to new heights in her career. Deciding to stand up for herself changed her “on a cellular level,” she said. “I’m a different person now, and it’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious,’ is because someone tried to take that from me.”

If you are in an abusive relationship, please call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 .