TikTok influencer shares domestic violence survival story

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THOMASTON, Ga. (WRBL) – Kylie Strickland, a LaGrange native, was dating her ex-boyfriend Cody Weems for about two months when he allegedly began to abuse her. Strickland, a social media influencer, used TikTok as a platform to spread awareness and let others know they are not alone.

Strickland said fights 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 with News 3 a recording she says is of Weems threatening her, people close to her and her dogs.

In the latest incident, Weems is accused of allegedly dragging Strickland out to the woods where he stomped on her causing a miscarriage. She survived with a fractured nose, a broken tailbone and many bruises.

“All I could think about was ‘today is going to be the day.’ Today is going to be the day that he finally kills me and all I could think about was ‘I hope somebody is calling the police.’ I don’t know how I’m about to get away. I was thinking about how to get away, I was thinking of what I could do that could hurt him enough to make him stop,” said Strickland.

Strickland remembers fighting back and trying to hold on to the trees in many attempts to get away.

She said the abuse began early on in the relationship and he would often blame the physical abuse on the over use of alcohol.

At the time, Strickland had a million followers on TikTok and was making about $1000 a day, making it her full time job. She took to the app to tell her fans about the incident, hoped it raised 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 my bruises had healed up and not after I’ve talked to a therapist. From start to finish, so that maybe I don’t want to say scare people but scare men or women into leaving before it gets to the point that I was at,” said Strickland.

Strickland faced differing opinions after going public with the news before her account was banned by TikTok. She does not know why her account was banned but has made a back up account. She said she received more supportive comments than negative ones. She hopes her story inspires others to fight back against domestic violence. 

“To leave. You can’t help a victim leave until they’re absolutely ready to leave. People had tried to help me try to leave and I couldn’t move because of my safety and my children’s safety. I couldn’t leave but you have to find a way to leave because they’re not going to change,” said Strickland.

Strickland, a mother of four, said kept her children away from Weems when she noticed his abusive behavior. She also said she avoided going home after the latest incident to protect her children from seeing her in a vulnerable state.

She described the feeling as “very scary” knowing Weems could be released from jail on bond once it is posted.

Weems was booked into Upson County Jail and has been charged with assault on an unborn child, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated sexual battery, burglary, kidnapping, and battery. Those charges were added to a previous charge he received from a previous relationship.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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