On Jan. 11th, comedian Matthew Santoro uploaded a YouTube video and accused Nicole Arbour—his former girlfriend and an online personality known for her video, “Dear Fat People”—as abusive.
At the beginning of his article, Santoro wrote, “On Sep. 12th, 2015, I recorded and privately uploaded the following video as a way to express my experience of being in an abusive relationship. On Jan. 10th, 2016, I unintentionally made the video public, and upon realizing it, made it private again. However, based on the outpouring of support I’ve received based off those who viewed copies of the original video others reuploaded, I’ve been inspired to believe this could help those in a similar situation. If you are suffering from abuse you are not alone.”
In this video, Santoro discusses exactly how Arbour abused him. Santoro recalls leaving his house one night and getting hit in the face by Arbour. He says, “for the first time in his life,” he was hit in the face.
Furthermore, Santoro says Arbour was “viciously jealous” to the point that he was forced to remove his friends and family from his life.
After the alleged physical abuse incident, Santoro left Arbour, but returned to the relationship a month later.
Towards the middle to end of the video, Santoro uses his platform to raise awareness of domestic violence against men. “Gender has no role [in whether you are a victim],” he says. He mentions the standards of masculinity people have created for men.
Men are expected to be bigger and stronger than women. According to a recent article published by Forbes Magazine, “the media industry has tended to characterize men as macho guys” who are protective and strong. In the eyes of many, men aren’t seen as victims of domestic abuse, and females aren’t usually framed as abusers.
Although Santoro’s didn’t directly mention Arbour by name in his video, some Internetizens feel that evidence of their relationship exists.
Arbour, like Santoro, is a YouTuber, with 300,000 subscribers in comparison to Santoro’s five million. Arbour is popular for her videos shaming different groups of people. An example of this is the “Dear Fat People” video that became viral.
Not long after Santoro’s viral video, Arbour uploaded a response video with comments and disabled readers the capability to like and dislike the post. Arbour’s story says she is innocent and believes Santoro made the whole thing up for followers and attention. At one point she refers to the man as a “little bitch,” and then challenges Santoro to take a lie-detector test to prove her innocence.
Arbour removed the video after receiving a plethora of negative attention, and although no formal charges have been filed, there is yet to be a conclusion for the story.
The video published by Santoro draws attention to domestic abuse that occurs towards all genders. UWT’s SafeCampus was created to protect students and prevent life-threatening situations.
According to the SafeCampus website, its campaign is to “foster a safe and secure UW campus community.” The site also elaborates on how it is the duty of everyone on campus to protect that campaign and make this campus safe.
SafeCampus also gives students a surplus of online tips and resources to aid them in any possible domestic abuse issue. If there is any urgent situation, it is important to call 911 first, and then the Violence Prevention and Response Team at 253-692-SAFE (7293).