You think you know a person, especially the one you’re involved with. Recently, however, someone on reddit asked others to reveal the secrets they’re keeping from their significant others, and the number of responses is a perfect reminder that people tend to keep some things for themselves.

But one answer stood out from the rest. Amassing over 18,5K upvotes in just a few days, it tells a story about an anonymous act of kindness.

Image credits:Jeremy Keith  (Not the actual photo)

“About eight years ago I discovered my wife’s sister’s reddit account accidentally. It was a variation of a username she’d used for AIM before, but with different numbers and no underscore (the numbers were a significant date to her though). There were too many coincidences in her posts for it not to be her.”

“She was posting on the relationship advice subreddit. Her (now ex-) husband was abusive. We’d known something was off about him, but couldn’t really put our finger on it. I created another account that I only accessed from incognito mode to send her encouragement to leave, and to ask her family or friends (but kinda steered her towards us) for help.”

“She didn’t want to impose or be a burden on any of them (we’d just had a kid, and I make a bunch of money but we live well within our means so you wouldn’t think this based on appearances, so it was an understandable concern). I slowly, over several weeks and several different posts she made, convinced her that it’s possible her family realizes something isn’t quite right and would not consider it a burden to help her out.”

“After their divorce, I deleted that account. Nobody will ever know that the random internet stranger who was weirdly persistent in encouraging my SIL to reach out to her family for help and leave her abusive marriage was actually me.”

People instantly started applauding the anonymous hero

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important public health problems that have an enormous and long term physical and mental health impact on victims.” A few years ago, the organization released The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, providing insights into these problems.

Turns out, intimate partner contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking was experienced by 37.3% of U.S. women during their lifetime, with state estimates ranging from 27.8% to 45.3% and 30.9% of U.S. men, with state estimates ranging from 18.5% to 38.2%.

While contact sexual violence by an intimate partner was experienced by 1 in 6 women (16.4%) and 1 in 14 men (7.0%) during their lifetime, physical violence by an intimate partner was experienced by almost a third of women (32.4%) and more than a quarter of men (28.3%) and psychological aggression by an intimate partner was experienced by 47.1% of women and 47.3% of men.