#1"My Boyfriend Bit My Lip Off" - Interview with Kayla Hayes | Abuse Allies with Danielle Esplin

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

When Kayla Hayes met up with her ex-boyfriend (Seth Fleury) to talk about their breakup, he leaned in for a kiss, latched on, and frantically bit her lip off. Today Kayla is rising above the horrific assault, and she's now sharing her story to raise awareness and to warn others not to go see their abusers alone after leaving a toxic relationship.

Kayla Hayes is a survivor of abuse who's now sharing her story in hopes of helping others. After surviving a horrific assault and dealing with months of recovery, she started her own organization, Rise Above, to inspire others and to raise awareness.



Kayla's Message:

Kayla Hayes, CEO of Rise Above

"Hi! I’m Kayla Hayes. I was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina! At 17 years old, I fell one in four. After a brutal assault- I am now 20 years old. One year ago I broke my silence and have been speaking out about the abuse I endured at the hands of the one I loved ever since.

After becoming known as the girl that had her lip bit off and being the girl with the scar wrapping cheek to cheek - I knew I had to do something. I have created a Facebook page and an Instagram called Rise Above to make others aware of the signs of abuse and in hopes to prevent others from falling to a statistic like I did. Although, it is not about the fall it is about the rise! I hope to show people that they can wear their scars as wings and take these bad experiences to soar and help not only themselves but others!"

You can find Kayla, here: Facebook Page Kayla's Instagram Rise Above Instagram

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In this episode we discuss the following:

[00:00] Intro: The Bulletproof Club and Kayla Hayes Introduction [01:28] Meeting Seth Fleury (ex-boyfriend) [02:19] Kayla Hayes Dating History [02:38] How Kayla Hayes Realized he wasn't the guy he pretended to be [03:40] Controlling behavior of Seth Fleury (concessions) [04:14] Discussing whether Kayla's family (mom) picked on the signs/abusive relationship [04:50] Discussing whether Kayla's friends picked up on the abuse [05:00] Friend Isolation [05:47] Feeling ashamed about abuse [06:07] Danielle thanking Kayla for being brave and transparent [06:27] Length of Kayla's relationship - past break ups [07:20] Discussing gaslighting, responsibility & accountability [08:03] Statistic - how many times it take the average person to leave an abusive relationship. Positive impact of these interviews. [08:18] Denial & looking for answers & avoidance [08:36] Mentality that kept her in her abusive relationship [08:44] Discussing desperation & loneliness [08:56] Reason for meeting up with Seth. Reason for breaking up. Why they met up the day of the assault. [10:07] Discussing Seth leaving to be in the Navy. [10:35] Discussing possibility of premeditation - cards Seth gave Kayla [11:;17] Discussing the "kiss" and the moment of the assault [11:59] Help of the good Samaritans [12:30] The moment Kayla realized Seth bit her lip off [12:18] Discussing the good Samaritans [13:45] The moment Seth ran off. [14:10] Where Seth went right after the attack {14:19} Kayla's mother not being home [14:29] Seth's ignorance {14:44} The moment the cops and ambulance arrived. Their reaction [15:10] Discussing the plastic surgery right after the attack [15:45] Discussing Kayla's scars [15:56] How the surgeon decided how to fix her lip and what to do [16:50] Kayla discussing how wonderful her surgeon was (the importance of a surgeon's compassion after an attack like this) [17:35] The amount of stitches required to fix her lip and the recovery process (duration) [18:13] Laser treatments [18:26] Second surgery [18:45] Danielle admiring Kayla - Kayla's strength and bravery [19:06] Danielle asking about staying overnight at the hospital. Discussing the hospital, assigning a psychologist. [19:37] How Kayla started to heal psychologically. How she found her healing [19:55] How her friends found out about the attack. Not being able to talk [20"05] Discussing not having her mom around at the time of the attack. How her mother found out about the attack. [20:50] Discussing Kayla's Facebook post - paramedics asking Kayla to speak. The moment Kayla realized she couldn't pronounce words in the ambulance. [22:13] Police - how the case started. Kayla's statement. [23:11] Duration of the court case. Seth's arrest on the 21st of October. [23:20] Seth being out and about for an entire year during the court case. Bail. His ankle monitor. [23:30] Seth Pleading guilty. [23:32] Kayla receiving horrifying calls from the GPS company of Seth's ankle monitor. [24:05] Kayla not going outside at the time alone. [24:14] Kayla moved house due to PTSD. [25:29] Seeing Seth again. Social media of Seth after the attack. Seth's behavior on social media. [26:00] Testifying against her abuser & impact statement in court. [26:57] Kayla's expectations in court - sentencing. [27:58] Asking Kayla about cognitive dissonance. [28:20] Kayla discussing self-blame and trying to help him. Realizing who Seth really is. [29:07] Asking Kayla what helped her to make that mental shift to see him for who he really is [30:00] Kayla's biggest life-changing experience after the attack. Who helped her the most during this difficult time [30:36] Reconnecting to her old friends (after isolation) [30:50] Kayla discussing the most damaging advice she got after the attack. Backlash [31:15] Discussing judgmental people trying to victim blame [31:49] Seth's sentencing [32:00] Her protection for when Seth gets out of prison [32:17] Kayla's practical steps she took to recover. Outlet for recovery. Sharing her story [33:15] Kayla's mindset - how she grew throughout the year since the attack [33:46] Media's involvement - Kayla breaking her silence on social media [35:10] Seth ruining his life, not Kayla - not blaming herself for his actions [35:30] Discussing a possible apology (letter) from Seth [35:59] Kayla discussing Rise Above & her scars [37:22] Discussing a video on Kayla's Facebook page - burning letters to abusers [38:07] Being sentimental & parting with things. Healing is a process [39:01] Thanking Kayla and discussing the impact of this interview. Raising awareness and helping others [39:39] Kayla's take-away message. Educating yourself. [40:14] Danielle discusses the importance of taking action [40:38] Kayla's plans with Rise Above [40:59] Danielle asking Kayla if she had other plans with her future before the attack happened. [41:16] Kayla finding her purpose in life. [41:31] Danielle and Kayla discussing their excitement to raise awareness together and keeping each other updated.

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