About 20 people are victims of domestic violence every minute in the United States. Domestic violence is an enormous issue, and we need powerful voices to address it.
We wanted to salute those in the spotlight who have spoken about their personal experiences with domestic and intimate partner violence. Because survivors often suffer in silence, we hope these public voices offer inspiration and courage to those who might need support.
Tamron Hall, a host for NBC’s “Today” show, has been an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse for many years. Hall’s sister died as a result of her abusive relationship. This was the catalyst for Hall’s advocacy. Her sister’s death is still unsolved.
Hall has been open about her struggles with guilt about her sister Renate’s death. Her feelings echo those of family members across the world who have struggled with having a loved one in an abusive relationship. She started the Tamron Renate Hall Fund with her sons to help survivors of domestic abuse.
Actress Amber Tamblyn opened about up her history of living through an abusive relationship after violent rhetoric became a part of the 2016 presidential campaign. As she posted her story on Instagram, Tamblyn discussed the shame and embarrassment she felt about the relationship and how she fears her parents and family will react to the news. Her story is a courageous example of how using one’s voice can help more survivors speak up and get the support they need.
An ambassador for women and girls worldwide, actress Charlize Theron grew up in an emotionally and physically abusive household. At the age of 15 Theron witnessed her mother shoot and kill her father in self-defense. She has been open about living through the abuse at the hands of her father as well.
Actress Robin Givens is a survivor of domestic violence and has been vocal about her experiences with then-husband, boxer Mike Tyson. Givens has been open about the physical abuse she experienced during their marriage in the late 1980s.
Tyson then minimized the abuse in later interviews by saying, “I grabbed my wife and hold my wife, you know what I mean? I shake my wife up. I never totally struck my wife.”
Many do not think of financial abuse when discussing the topic of domestic violence. Actress and advocate Kerry Washington works with the Purple Purse Campaign, which helps women in domestic violence relationships with the financial support they need to move toward independence.
In an interview with CNN, Washington said, “The most important thing to know is there is a way out. That there is a way to learn how to become financially self-supporting and take care of yourself so that you can make decisions for yourself that are empowering.”
Take a minute, not just to thank these women for their work, but to explore their campaigns and consider giving. It’s vital that we acknowledge people who bring awareness to domestic violence, which can precipitate a host of mental health challenges!