EXCLUSIVE: Evelyn Lozada Goes From Basketball Wives to Raising Awareness on Domestic Violence & Puerto Rico Relief

Evelyn Lozada may have returned to our TV screens with Season 7 of Basketball Wives, but now she’s lending a helping hand. 

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Through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation, the star has been raising awareness towards domestic violence. Back in October, Lozado launched the Turn Hurt into Joy Campaign to shed light on a topic that affects both men and women. The mother-of-two raised funds for the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. and the Sauti Yetu Center for African Women to provide services supporting new and safe pathways for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. 

“I started the foundation to be able to help as many survivors, not only women, men too,” she said. “Because I know that it happens a lot with men as well, with women to men. So that's really where my passion comes from. Basketball Wives was a stepping stone to really bring light to these things that I’m really trying to put together.”

The reality TV star recently took part of the Brides’ March in New York, to mourn victims of domestic violence, like Gladys Ricart, who was murdered on her wedding day. All dressed in white, Lozada joined many in attendance who held signs displaying facts and statics surrounding domestic violence.

 

My heart is so full! Today I was a voice for thousands of women who are voiceless because they are afraid to leave their abuser. It was an honor to meet so many women who are brave enough to share their stories of domestic abuse and have the self-confidence to march in solidarity with other survivors of gender violence. Domestic Violence Victims have to know that they can be SURVIVORS! They must know that there is light at the end of the struggle and sisterhood waiting to uplift them. While the Brides March was a humbling experience this is just the beginning. Through The Evelyn Lozada Foundation I will work tirelessly to make sure women like Gladys Ricart and all victims of domestic violence receive access to the support they need to turn pain into joy. #BridesMarch2017 #DomesticViolenceAwareness #ViolenceIsNeverTheAnswer #Philanthropy #LozadaCares #NYC #GladysRicart

A post shared by Evelyn Lozada (@evelynlozada) on

 

As a survivor herself, the 41-year-old has spoken about her own experience and why she is passionate about helping survivors and victims. 

Lozada considers herself fortunate enough to have been able to get out of her abusive relationship and be independent, as many victims don't have that opportunity. “I always say that I was fortunate enough to be able to move across the country because financially I was doing okay, but I didn't have to be dependent on my abuser to move or to get out of this relationship,” she said. 

Even after divorcing her ex-husband Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) in 2012 following a domestic dispute, Lozada says she doesn't like to dwell on the past.  She explains it has forced her to grow and make her stronger as a person. 

The hot mama has also been working on another cause close to her heart – getting aid to Puerto Rico following the devastation from Hurricane Maria.  After watching all the news coverage on the island’s efforts of trying to recover, Lozada said she wanted to dive in and help. 

PLUS: These Alex and Ani Bracelets Support Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

 

“It’s just frustrating because we’re watching the news and just seeing all the goods that are there and there’s like 10,000 containers at the port and they cant get to the people,” she explained. 

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Prior to Maria’s landfall in Puerto Rico, Hurricane Irma had just passed through the island. When Irma was expected to impact the isla del encanto, Lozada’s mother was on the island and managed to get her out on the last flight out of Aguadilla. Despite the island's current situation, the star is hopeful for the future. “We need to stay positive and hope everything turns out okay," she said.