Hayden Panettiere has shared the phone number for a domestic abuse hotline and said she hopes to “empower others” after her ex-boyfriend Brian Hickerson was arrested and charged with felony assault.
On Friday, People reported that Hickerson had been arrested on multiple charges, including four charges of corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, two charges of assault, and one of intimidating a witness. He is currently in custody and is being held on $320,000 bail, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the outlet.
Following reports of Hickerson’s arrest, the Heroes star addressed the alleged abuse during their year-and-a-half-long relationship in a statement shared to Twitter.
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“I am coming forward with the truth about what happened to me with the hope that my story will empower others in abusive relationships to get the help they need and deserve,” the 30-year-old wrote. “I am prepared to do my part to make sure this man never hurts anyone again.
“I’m grateful for my support system, which helped me find the courage to regain my voice and my life.”
Panettiere attached an online link and phone number to an abuse hotline, concluding: “You are not alone.”
In a statement shared with People, Panettiere’s attorney said she had “begun the process of taking back her life” after “suffering for years as the victim of psychological, emotional and severe physical abuse”.
“Hayden has found the strength and courage to share the truth about her abuse and her abuser, and she intends to assist the prosecution to see that justice is served. As a survivor, she recognises that her arduous journey of healing has just begun,” the statement reads.
The arrest comes after Panettiere filed a restraining order against Hickerson this week, five months after he was arrested in Jackson, Wyoming, and charged with domestic battery and interference with a cop, according to People. Hickerson pleaded not guilty to the charge.
You can contact the National Helpline for rape and sexual abuse, provided by Rape Crisis South London, by calling 0808 802 9999. The helpline is open between 12 and 2.30pm and 7 and 9.30pm every day of the year.