When fans tune in to watch professional wrestling, there is a certain suspension of disbelief that comes fully grasping the product. Unfortuately for TNA knockout Jade, there was no 'suspending disbelief' in her personal life, as she dealt with domestic violence.
In an article by the Huffington Post, the former Knockouts Champion spoke in great detail about domestic violence in wrestling and in general. She talked about an incident she had with an ex-boyfriend, who was also a wrestler, and how a simple headlock started to open her eyes to such an important issue.
“When he finally let go, my then-boyfriend just left me there and I’m wondering what the hell just happened," Jade said. "Was he legitimately trying to hurt me? Because it was a headlock, and we’re both wrestlers, I justified it as maybe it was him trying to playfully end [the argument]."
She said that as a female athlete, she didn't want people to think of her as a victim of domestic violence. She said that she stayed quiet behind closed doors and that the incidents kept escalating from there.
“Women athletes, CEOs, those in power, we feel this pressure to be a role model to other women, to be strong, that we don’t want to let them know our struggle," Jade said. "I didn’t want to be known as a ‘victim.’ I was also trying to get on TV, so if I tell my story, would this mess up my career? It got more and more regular that if I said something he didn’t like he would get violent. One time I was in bed and we had a disagreement, so he left the room but came back in to head-butt me. Then he started to choke me. In fact, whenever he didn’t like something I said, he would choke me. Soon down the line, I realized that his mindset was because I’m not hitting you, it’s ok. Because I’m not leaving a mark on you, it’s ok.”
Jade said that there is a huge difference between what is real and what isn't in professional wrestling.
“We choose to get in the ring," Jade said. "We’re trained to keep ourselves and our opponents safe. But when someone brings it back home, that’s not wrestling anymore. That is not entertainment. That is just straight abuse.”
You can read the rest of the piece over at Huffington Post.