Singer Christina Aguilera got an award for her work in the fight against domestic violence and opened up about being a survivor.
Christina Aguilera has received numerous awards for her music, but an award she received at a domestic violence shelter last week brought the singer of Ecuadorian descent to tears. The 38-year-old star opened up on social media about being a domestic violence survivor, after being honored with the Community Hero award from the Shade Tree, a refuge for domestic violence victims in southern Nevada. “It’s just disgusting and it happens far too much to people that we do love,” she says in a video on Instagram. “And it is very dear to my heart, because I did grow up in [violence] and I’m a survivor of it — as I’m sure many of you are — and I’m affected by it.”
Entertainment Tonight reports that Aguilera donates $1 from every ticket sold for her Las Vegas residency to the organization. “It’s such a part of who I am, the music that I make, the lyrics that I write, from ‘Fighter’ to ‘Beautiful.’ Everything,” she added about empowering other women to break cycles of violence and abuse. “It truly does come from the heart.”
In her post, she shared alarming statistics: “1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the U.S. are affected by domestic violence. Every minute, 20 people are affected by intimate partner violence in the U.S. That is 10 million a year.” The singer also recalled her own struggle with domestic violence as she was growing up. She has revealed in previous interviews that her mother was physically and mentally abused by her dad when Aguilera was a growing up. “I remember often having to up and escape in the middle of the night with my mom and little sister, having just the clothes on our backs, to drive cross-country for shelter at my grandma’s house,” she wrote in the post. “Without that, I would have had to turn to a place like @shadetreevegas for shelter.”
Aguilera, who has two kids, has said she is grateful for her current personal life and booming career, but those bitter childhood experiences taught her to be more empathetic to people in need. “I have so much respect and adoration for those who give their time and support to hear these victims’ stories and help them regain strength, self empowerment and provide resources for a better independent future,” she added in the post. “We need to use our voices to speak up, reach out and help one another break these deep-rooted cycles and empower each other to end these patterns.”
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org.