Actress Reese Witherspoon has had the domestic violence talk with her two young children. As a Global Ambassador for Avon’s efforts to help victims of domestic violence, Witherspoon traveled to the Washington area to speak to the second World Conference of Women’s Shelters, prompting a talk with Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8. Though her kids were shocked to hear that one in three women is abused in this country, Witherspoon said, it was important for them to be aware of the problem, especially her daughter who’s almost old enough date. At a time when bullies are responding with violence, Witherspoon says parents must educate themselves and their children about social media and “what constitutes harassment, what is acceptable and what is not.” Domestic violence is a topic in many songs, including Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead,” where she sings about shooting an abusive husband. Witherspoon says such songs “create retaliation fantasies,” which are “a very important part of our psychology,” but she doesn’t think they replace the effectiveness of going public about domestic violence. Witherspoon says talking publicly “creates empowerment” among women and helps them feel they’re not alone. She said it often gives them the courage to go to a shelter or take legal action that could save their lives. … Lady Gaga was at Harvard University to launch her Born This Way Foundation with Oprah Winfrey and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She told The Associated Press that the foundation’s goal is to empower youth and inspire bravery. The foundation shares a name with her album, and she said its message will be for students to create a more loving environment at their schools and in the world. She said the foundation will encourage young people to do simple things to be kind to one another and encourage others to do the same.
Names in the news, March 1
Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 5:06 p.m.