Irene Bedard might have played a spirited Disney princess, but the Native American voice actor's career was cruelly stunted by years of both physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her husband, singer Deni Wilson.

Like many women whose lives are impacted by domestic violence, Bedard suffered in silence for almost 20 years before fleeing the situation for the sake of her son. Although Bedard hasn't spoken out personally about the trauma that she suffered, her family has told her story to raise awareness of how domestic abuse can happen to anyone.

Bedard and Wilson

Out of respect for the family, I will be mostly telling this story in their own words using the open letter that her niece wrote about the difficult subject.

Written in 2010, the letter explains how Irene fled the home she shared with her husband in order to escape severe abuse at the hands of her husband that is detailed in the paragraph below:

Irene moved to Alaska in an attempt to flee a horrific domestic violence situation. For 17 years, she suffered abuse, both sexually and physically, at the hands of the one person she should have been able to trust implicitly, her husband. The years of abuse left not only her body, but also her spirit and mind, battered. The abuse had been so pervasive, her health began to decline, rapidly. Her doctor began tests to detect cancer, unaware of the abuse. As heinous as the physical and mental tolls were, they were not the only price my aunt had to pay.

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