Taylor Armstrong Reaches Out to Battered Women


Our exclusive ET interview with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong continues: Taylor elaborates on her late husband Russell's history of domestic violence and what finally gave her the courage to kick him out of their Beverly Hills home.

Taylor explains to ET's Nancy O'Dell why she hesitated to call police: "When someone grabs you by the arm too hard and smashes you up against a wall, you feel like -- you know -- is that the right time to call the police? Or when they grab you by the hair and slam your head against the car, it hurts worse, is that the right time?" She said Russell had been a golden gloves fighter and "definitely could pack a punch -- that's for sure."

MORE: Did Russell Have a History of Mental Illness?

The reality star revealed that her experiences with abuse go all the way back to her childhood, when her dad would beat her mother. "She would be in bed and he would be on top of her punching her in the face and screaming, and I would try to fight him off in whatever way a small child could."

Taylor said Russell even used to tell her that she was too good for him. "He told me early on, 'You don't want to be married to me. I'm not the kind of guy that you should marry.' And he would say: 'You're a nice girl, you need to find a nice guy.' In my mind, I felt as though I could make him believe that he could be a good guy and that he was a good person for me."

MORE: Taylor Armstrong's Horrible Secret

Taylor also talks about her involvement now with the 1736 Family Crisis Center, an organization that provides free shelter, therapy, legal services and job training to victims of domestic abuse. "I just feel like there's got to be a way for women to reach out for help, for help that doesn't end in the only alternative that police have to come and arrest the person."

"What about the people who are just getting screamed at? And their self-esteem is just getting lower and lower everyday. I mean they're being tortured, and that's not a crime -- not something that you can get arrested for. So I think there needs to be some kind of a step in between to get women to the point that their self-esteem is not so low that they wouldn't allow this to happen."

For more information on Taylor, visit her website.