At the end of last year, musician FKA Twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, brought allegations of romantic terrorism against her former partner, actor Shia LaBeouf. Barnett’s lawsuit, which was filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that LaBeouf perpetrated sexual battery, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence.
Like Barnett and millions of other women, I am intimate with romantic terrorism. After a whirlwind courtship, a man I dated used romantic terrorism to trap me. I remained with this batterer for a long time, and, like Barnett, one of the ugliest questions I’m asked is, “Why didn’t you leave?” The question is audacious considering that I did leave. That’s why I’m able to freely discuss the experience.