- Jana Kramer shared a throwback photo of herself that she said is “very hard” to see.
- She described the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of an ex
- The country lover encouraged her fans to never tolerate any form of abuse
Jana Kramer has opened up about an alleged abusive relationship from her past to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The “I Got the Boy” singer took to Instagram on Saturday to share a throwback photo from her teenage years that shows her sitting on mom Noah Kramer’s lap as the two smiled for the camera.
Kramer, 38, explained in the caption that the photo is “very hard” to see because “what was underneath the smile is something that to this day I have a hard time talking about.”
“I don’t remember the excuses I made to people when I flew home to get away from my abuser about the cuts and scrapes on my shoulder and arms or why my ribs hurt. But when I look at this picture, that’s all I see,” she wrote, while withholding the name of her alleged abuser.
According to the “Soccer Mom Madam” star, what she sees in the photo is a “broken girl who weeks ago was pinned to the ground while the man who ‘loved’ me was strangling me saying he was going to kill me.”
Kramer said that during this relationship, she was “so full of shame” and felt that no one would believe her if she tried to report the abuse and that it was her fault for hitting her partner.
“That I was wrong and I deserved it. For years, I’ve held these beliefs and one day soon I’ll talk more about the abuse that followed and the patterns that continued, but to be honest, it’s been a journey and one I’m still trying to walk knowing it wasn’t the last abusive relationship “, he claimed.
Although Kramer has not named her alleged abuser, she has previously accused her little-known first husband, Michael Gambino, of physical and emotional abuse. The former couple married in early 2004 after two weeks of dating, according to People.
During her 2017 speech at the 22nd Annual Safe Horizon Champions Awards, excerpts of which she shared in her Instagram post on Saturday, the “One Tree Hill” alum recounted the abuse she suffered at the hands of a man who she said “married” and how it happened affected her professionally and personally.
In the clips, Kramer said she was just 19 when she met her ex-husband, who was 17 years her senior. She called him “charming” and said their relationship was amazing at first.
After they married, however, she said he began abusing her, starting with “little comments here and there” and then “more verbal abuse.”
“And then it started with a push or a shove. And then there was a choking,” she said in her speech, before adding: “Once my abuser was in prison, I was finally able to break free.”
Kramer and Gambino divorced less than a year after their wedding. He was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to six years in prison in 2005.
After five years in prison, Gambino was paroled in 2010. Kramer said she lived in fear until she killed herself in 2012.
In her Instagram post, Kramer said she spoke out in hopes of being able to help someone who might be going through similar experiences.
“YOU DO NOT DESERVE CRIMINATION,” he wrote. “You do not deserve any form of abuse…physically, sexually, mentally, verbally, financially, emotionally abusive relationships, etc. THIS IS AN ABUSE.”
She reminded her followers that “there are people who want to be there for you” and encouraged those experiencing abuse not to “wait until you lose your breath.”
“Your life, your heart [and] Your soul is meant to be here and meant to be loved and cherished,’ she wrote, before encouraging other victims to ‘please talk to someone’.
Kramer was also previously married to Johnathon Schaech from 2010 to 2011 and Mike Caussin from 2015 to 2021. Her last public relationship was with Ian Schinelli, who later accused her of being manipulative after the split their.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours a day.