Social Media Turns 1 Woman’s Tragedy Into Triumph

The 19-year tells The Root about the abuse she suffered, her healing and her courageous decision to go public.

Mori Montgomery at the time of the attack and a few weeks later.
Mori Montgomery at the time of the attack and a few weeks later. Mori Montgomery

It all started in late February while she was out for a drive with her boyfriend. They got into an argument on a road in Belleville, Ill. He accused her of cheating, and then, she says, he hit her and pushed her out of the moving vehicle.

“He hit me first before he pushed me out, and then after, I fell out of the car. That’s when he stopped the car, and he came out of the car and hit me more until I blacked out,” Mori Montgomery said.

The next thing she remembers was waking up in the hospital with severe injuries, including cuts to her arms, chest and shoulder and bruised ribs.

It’s often hard to come forward when you’ve been abused, a difficult conversation for anyone.

But 19-year-old Mori Gabriella Montgomery is trying to have this conversation and erase the stigma of silence surrounding domestic violence by using her own horrifying experiences and spreading her story across social media. It is a 140-character snapshot of courage that is turning tragedy into triumph.

“You know they say that ‘[the abused] always go back’ or the boyfriends apologize, and I never quite understood that,” Montgomery said. “After it happened to me it brought a whole new light to me, and I really wanted to get the word out there about it.”

She ultimately made the decision to move to Las Vegas, to get away and make a clean start.

Then she decided to speak up and speak out against her abuser, posting pictures of her horrific injuries, and engaging openly and freely with her almost 10,000 followers about her experience.

“Everybody knew how happy I was with this guy, and the way our relationship seemed to me and everybody else was that we were happy and in love, and me waking up in the hospital to these horrific memories of him doing this to me and later on finding out that he dragged me around … I want everybody to know that’s the same guy I fell in love with … I’m not going to let it defeat me and scare me, it’s just going to make me stronger,” Montgomery said.

The reaction to her impromptu social media campaign has been mostly positive. Of course, Montgomery said wryly, there will always be those who say negative things and spread false rumors. There are those who say she’s doing this just for the attention, but she shrugs it all off.