Debby Ryan Abused By Close Friend — Disney Channel Star Opens Up About Emotional Experience
“By the time I decided to get out wasn’t too late, but it was really, really late in the game. I’m very fortunate because I had people help me get this person out of my life, out of my house—like physically lock the door,” Debby started off by saying in her revealing interview with Teen Vogue.
“I mean, he showed up across the country at a meet-and-greet of mine and said he needed to talk to me. I hadn’t talked to him in a month. I told him to leave my life. So he threw a phone at me and it shattered to pieces and he was screaming, punching the wall, and cussing me out,” she went on.
“Then he started bawling and said he’s sorry and loves me. And then grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me in a bathroom and locked the door. I wasn’t dating this person. This person considered themselves my best friend. We also had a professional relationship and it was such emotional manipulation to the point where it became physical, and it stopped before it got too far.”
Debby Ryan Fights To Make A Difference
HollywoodLife.com caught up with Debby to hear about how she is turning her negative experience into a positive by raising awareness about dating violence.
She told us exclusively, “Mary Kay and Love Is Respect and I have partnered together to create this campaign called the Don’t Look Away campaign. Basically, it’s raising awareness about dating violence in young adults and teens and opens the conversation for, what is normal? What is healthy? What is okay? What am I experiencing? Whether it’s mental abuse, physical abuse, mental, emotional, or digital abuse, taking your phone passwords, checking your computer, getting upset if you don’t check in with them at all times, those sorts of things.”
She added, “What’s really cool is that Love Is Respect has started this first ever text to help service. You text LOVEIS to 22522 and there’s round-the-clock, 24-hour, completely safe, anonymous help from a peer. It’s someone our age, it’s easier to talk to, it’s totally anonymous, they have no way of knowing who you are, where you are, and you can ask them, is this normal?”
Debby said she her aim is to raise the question, “What is love? We’re trying to have this real conversation about what it is, and what healthy, safe love that makes you better and stronger looks like.”
HollywoodLifers, we encourage you to use the help service if you ever feel like you need somebody to talk to.
— Shira Benozilio, Reporting by Dory Larrabee-Zayas