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Domestic violence survivor torches wedding dress in public ceremony

Briana Barksdale torching her wedding dress in front of local TV cameras. (Photo: KMOV)

A woman is celebrating her recent divorce with a symbolic garage sale — and the torching of her wedding dress.

Briana Barksdale, who survived an abusive marriage, hosted the “divorce garage sale” to rid herself of the memories that haunted her. But the day’s centerpiece, a fluffy white bridal gown she wore 13 years ago, was not for sale.

“This is for every woman who has ever been in a relationship that was abusive, that hurt, that they shouldn’t have stayed in, that they didn’t know how to get out of,” Barksdale, of Houston, said to news cameras before dousing the displayed dress with gasoline.

Surrounded by friends and family, she then sparked a lighter at the hem of the gown in the driveway of her home.

“Burn, baby, burn,” the divorcee sang out as the gown burst into flames.

“It was a really rough situation, it was a bad situation — there are still criminal charges pending, so I can’t talk about a lot of it, but yeah, not a great guy,” she told a KMOV reporter.

According to the news outlet, Barksdale finalized her divorce on Jan. 31 and got rid of most of her ex-husband’s belongings at the sale.

USA Today reported she sold everything from dishes to a computer for prices ranging from 50 cents to $30.

Relationship coach and matchmaker Carmelia Ray says that in the age of social media, people have become more open about their divorces.

“We’ve gotten rid of the privacy aspect of relationships, and the idea of a divorce is so common,” she told Global News. She added that although divorce is often misinterpreted as failure, more people are willing to leave something that isn’t working out.

“It takes a lot of courage to get out of a relationship,” she said.

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