Gorgeous Teuila Blakely radiates confidence whenever she takes the floor on Dancing with the Stars NZ, but it hasn’t always been this way for the former Shortland Street star.
The 40-year-old actress has a very personal reason for choosing Women’s Refuge as her charity on DWTS, and for the first time, she’s opening up about her own harrowing experience with domestic abuse.
“This is the first time I’ve ever spoken about it publicly and I’m going to get emotional,” Teuila says.
“But I am talking as a victor, not a victim. And as much as I hate talking about it, I want it to be valuable.”
The brave Kiwi star has lived through the mental and physical horror of more than one abusive relationship, and she reveals one of the injuries she suffered during those tough times still affects her to this day.
Now, she’s speaking out in the hope that her story will empower other women facing the same situation. In an exclusive interview with Woman’s Day, Teuila reveals how she regained her confidence, broke free from the cycle of abuse and rebuilt her life.
“If you can’t leave for yourself, then leave for your children, because you owe it to them as much as yourself to live the life you deserve,” she tells Woman’s Day.