TikTok influencer shares home violence survival story to assist others
** WARNING: This story contains details about domestic violence that some find disturbing.
THOMASTON, Ga. (WRBL) – Kylie Strickland, a native of LaGrange, was dating her ex-boyfriend, Cody Weems, for about two months when he allegedly started abusing her. Strickland, a social media influencer, used TikTok as a platform to spread awareness and let others know they are not alone.
Strickland said the fighting between the couple often escalated and he got physical many times. Along with the physical abuse, she said Weems threatened to kill her. Strickland shared a recording with News 3 stating that Weems threatened them, people around them, and their dogs.
In the most recent incident, Weems is accused of allegedly dragging Strickland into the woods, where he stepped on her and caused a miscarriage. She survived with a broken nose, a broken tailbone, and lots of bruises.
“I could only think that today will be the day. Today will be the day he finally kills me and all I could think of was, “I hope someone calls the police.” I don’t know how to get away I’ve been thinking about how to escape. I’ve been thinking about what I can do to hurt him enough to stop him, ”said Strickland.
Strickland remembers fighting back and trying to hold on to the trees on many attempts to escape.
She said the abuse started early in the relationship and he would often attribute the physical abuse to excessive drinking.
At the time, Strickland had a million followers on TikTok and was making about $ 1,000 a day, which made it her full-time job. She used the app to tell her fans about the incident, hoping to raise awareness about domestic violence and let others know they are not alone.
“It was important to tell my story from start to finish, not after all of my bruises had healed and not after talking to a therapist. From start to finish, so I don’t want to say that people are scared but that men or women are made to leave before it gets to where I was, “Strickland said.
Strickland faced mixed opinions after posting the news before TikTok banned her account. She doesn’t know why her account was locked out, but she created a backup account. She said she received more supportive than negative comments. She hopes her story will inspire others to fight back against domestic violence.
You cannot help a victim leave until they are absolutely ready to go. People had tried to help me try to leave and I could not move because of my safety and the safety of my children. I couldn’t go but you have to find a way to go because they are not going to change, ”Strickland said.
Strickland, a mother of four, said she kept her children away from Weems when she noticed his abusive behavior. She also said she avoided going home after the last incident to protect her children from seeing them in a vulnerable condition.
She described the feeling as “very scary” because she knew Weems could be released from jail as soon as it is released.
Weems was detained in Upson County Jail and charged with assault on an unborn child, aggravated assault, heavy battery, heavy sexual battery, burglary, kidnapping, and battery. These fees were added to a previous fee received from a previous relationship.
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