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.

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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.

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"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.

"They really don't know me at all, they don't know what happened, they don't know me and this relationship at all, so I just ignore it," she said.

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And the physical injuries, at least, are not permanent. She is seeing improvement and is confident they won't be there forever.

"I'm not going to be permanently scarred," she said. "Currently I am still wearing my neck brace because I'm having my motor spasms, sometimes it gets like a really lumpy feeling in my heart, so I have to keep the neck brace on a little bit longer. My face is almost completely healed, and on my arms and sides those scars are going away. So they won't be forever.”

She is looking out for her future as well, naysayers be damned. 

"I've been trying to do modeling and acting for God knows how long now, and everyone’s saying this is going to stop me from doing it, that the scars on my face aren't going to allow me to fulfill my dreams or whatever, but I'm going to do what I have to do for myself and bring awareness to this domestic-violence situation."

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And for those who may have been in similar situations, or may still currently be trying to get away from their abusers?

"I just want them to know that this was the first time it happened to me. I can't even imagine it happening several times in a relationship," Montgomery said. "I just want them to know that they're not alone, and they can talk to me if they really need someone to talk to and really guide them into showing them what they're worth. They're worth so much more than that."

Breanna Edwards is a newswriter at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.