Twitch star Nicole ‘neekolul’ Sanchez has opened up about being in a seven-year abusive relationship that ended during her rise on the streaming platform as part of a “big step into [her] healing process.”
Neekolul shot to fame off the back of a viral TikTok in 2020, but she had quietly been working on building a platform for herself on Twitch since 2017.
Behind closed doors though, Sanchez was trying to escape an abusive relationship while dealing with the pressures of internet stardom.
The 23-year-old has opened up on the “emotional, mental, and physical abuse” she received from a long-term partner, dating back to when she was 15. Details included her partner holding her at knifepoint, assaulting her numerous times, and “taking advantage of [her] financially.”
“We were breaking up and getting back together every other week. He would strategically hit me behind my head to avoid visible bruises. Some hits would slip so I would get a small bruise on my cheek or arms,” she said in a March 13 document.
Neekolul also said attempts at trying to raise the issue with her partner’s parents and the police fell on deaf ears.
“As a scared teenager it was hard, and in the end I felt a weird need to protect him.
“I told the police at one point that I wanted to press charges with picture proof and text messages. The officer’s words still ring in my head that ‘you are too young to be going through this, you should rethink if you want to do this.’”
Sanchez said she was forced to take anger management classes after her abuser claimed they were the victim. She was also arrested by police after one specific incident.
“After all these years of receiving abuse, I’m the one who ends up getting in trouble.
“The judge took into consideration my situation, everything I had been through, and saw I wasn’t a dangerous person. He even removed the automatically applied restraining order…which I think shows people recognized I wasn’t the one causing problems.”
my story (tw// abuse) https://t.co/3zvNYB8YUT
— neekolul (@neekolul) March 14, 2021
She opened up now as part of her “healing process,” and to encourage other victims of abuse to speak up. The streamer has received an outpouring of support from friends and fans on Twitter.
“I felt like I needed to talk about my experience as a victim of abuse in hopes that abuse is taken more seriously,” Neekolul said.
“Not speaking out about my story, seeing how times I fell silent, dug me into a deeper cycle of mental pain, and at the end of the day I deserve to live in peace and I won’t let anyone invalidate me ever again.”