Christina Aguilera broke down in tears while receiving an award from a domestic violence shelter on Thursday.
The 38-year-old songstress became emotional while addressing the crowd as she was honored with the Community Hero award from The Shade Tree, a 24-hour emergency shelter for women and children in crisis in Southern Nevada. Aguilera donates $1 from each ticket sold to her Las Vegas residency show at Planet Hollywood to the organization.
“It’s just disgusting and it happens far too much to people, and it is very dear to my heart, because I did grow up in [violence] and am a survivor of it, as I’m sure many of you are,” she tearfully said, in a video posted on her Instagram account. “I’m affected by it.”
“It’s such a part of who I am, the music that I make, the lyrics that I write, from ‘Fighter’ to ‘Beautiful.’ Everything,” continued the singer, who has previously opened up about witnessing domestic violence against her mother while she was growing up. “It truly does come from the heart. If it doesn’t feel genuine to me, I just don’t do it, because authenticity’s so important. That’s why I don’t mind the tears and the lashes coming off because there’s more important things in life than an eyelash right?”
The singer and mother further discussed the honor of receiving the award in the caption of an Instagram post on Tuesday, which also featured photos of her with the trophy.
“#DomesticViolence is obviously a subject very close and personal to my heart,” she wrote. “This past week, I was honored to receive an award from @shadetreevegas, a domestic violence shelter that I donate to….and while I tried so hard not to cry, I ended up balling the whole way through my speech because the statistics of domestic violence in the US are truly horrifying & sad and it’s so important to spread more awareness.”
Aguilera shared that one in four women and one in seven men are affected by domestic violence in the United States, and that 10 million people each year suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner.
She recounted her childhood, having to escape violence with her mother and sister.
“I remember often having to up and escape in the middle of the night with my mom & little sister, having just the clothes on our backs, to drive cross country for shelter at my grandma’s house,” she wrote. “Without that, I would have had to turn to a place like @shadetreevegas for shelter.”
“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. “Some aren’t so fortunate to get out….which is why it’s so important to work together to put a stop to these horrific statistics. Moreover, this isn’t just an issue in the US, but happens all over the world, in too many homes!!”
Aguilera concluded by encouraging people to speak up about such issues in a bid to break the cycle, and to reach out for help from organizations like the National Domestic Hotline and The Shade Tree, or find a local shelter.
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