"Once upon a time there was a girl
In her early years she had to learn
How to grow up living in a war that she called home
Never know just where to turn for shelter from the storm"
- Personal lyric from Christina Aguilera's "I'm OK"
I remember when I first realized my home wasn't safe. It was a powerless feeling. As a child, you expect your home to be a safe place where your parents protect you from harm. However, when I was a little girl, my home was the complete opposite. For most of my adolescence, I witnessed violence and abuse towards my mother, myself and my surroundings in various ways, some more subtle yet all very frightening. Knowing I am not the only one who has experienced such pain and abuse, I'm honored to partner with HopeLine® from Verizon to support their continued efforts to spread awareness about an issue that I'm unfortunately all too familiar with – domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a national problem that impacts our communities, neighbors, coworkers, friends and family members. I remember so many families on my block growing up who were experiencing similar circumstances and sadly it became clear to me this wasn't just an isolated issue. It was an issue that affected too many.
As I grew older it became clear to me that I wouldn't fall into the same trap but also that I would do what I could to help others. Domestic violence isn't just my story, it's the reality for 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 3 men. Domestic violence is more common than we'd like to talk about. We, as a society, don't discuss the devastating impact of physical, mental and emotional abuse. It is a subject that still carries shame. That's why it is so important for me to use my voice and to speak my truth in hopes of spreading awareness, and to help others find hope and their own voice, in what can seem like a hopeless situation.
Today, as a mother, my priority is to create a safe and secure environment for my children. I want them to see the beauty in life and be the kind of people to help make it better. We can all do something to help and be part of the solution. Through my work and my music I try and use my platform and my voice for good and partnering with Verizon's HopeLine program, which is a phone donation and grant giving program that supports domestic violence organizations across the country I am doing just that. They have given me the opportunity to raise awareness and deepen engagement and I know that if sharing my story will give one person a sense of hope or an ounce of strength, then it is all worth it.
I would love for all of you to join me in taking a stand against domestic violence with an easy way to help. You can get involved by purchasing an exclusive Verizon HTC pre-paid bundle at any Walmart store, to support HopeLine and the work of the Joyful Heart Foundation to help survivors heal and transform their lives.
For more information, visit verizon.com/about/hopeline.
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