6 Strong Latinas Who Overcame Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to bring awareness to the issue in hopes of ending the cycle of abuse. One in four women are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, with 20 percent of women in Hispanic households suffering partner violence. It's up to us to stop the abuse! If you or someone you know is being abused, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). These amazing Latinas overcame abuse and are bringing awareness to the issue -- it's time to join them in the cause.

1. Domestic Abuse: Evelyn Lozada

Evelyn Lozada

Right after marrying Chad Ochocinco, the couple got into a fight that (allegedly) had ended with Chad head-butting his wife -- but Evelyn didn't stand for it. She immediately separated from Chad, filing for divorce soon after. She said in an official statement, "Domestic violence is not okay and hopefully my taking a stand will help encourage other women to break their silence as well. I’m grateful to my family, friends and fans for the outpouring of support during this difficult time.” Stay strong!


2. Domestic Abuse: Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera dealt with abuse from her father, who abused both her mother and her. In a documentary, Christina's mother told the story of how she once found Christina with blood dripping from her chin at the age of four, apparently at the hands of Christina's father. Christina went on to tell Glamour in 2007, "I work very closely with a shelter near Pittsburgh. One day I hope to open a shelter of my own. I think it's really important to share my own story with women who've been abused, because going through that experience has lead me to where I am today: It's given me the strength and motivation to be the best that I can be."


3. Domestic Abuse: April Lee Hernandez

April Lee Hernandez 

Boricua actress April Lee Hernandez shared with us her story of survival in hopes that it will raise awareness and help save the lives of other women. At the age of 19, she found herself in an abusive relationship with her then boyfriend. "I thought he was going to kill me...He beat me up. He was physically, emotionally abusive." She hopes that those who find themselves in similar relationships reach out for help and go to a women's shelter. "There are so many ways out." 


4. Domestic Abuse: Ana Ortiz

Ana Ortiz

Ana Ortiz found herself in a abusive relationship when she was in her 20s. She told PeopleenEspanol.com, "When I was younger, I had a charismatic boyfriend with a mean streak and I allowed myself to become entangled. It all started in a very innocent way. He began to embarrass me, insult me and humiliate me. Then he started to flirt with my girlfriends in front of me and that escalated into physical violence. I was fortunate that I could trust my mother, who realized what was happening and got me to tell her what was going on without passing judgment. She was the help I needed." She now speaks out about her experience with domestic violence and has partnered with campaigns to stop the abuse. 


5. Domestic Abuse: Jaslene Gonzalez

Jaslene Gonzalez

America's Next Top Model Cycle 8 winner Jaslene Gonzalez has spoken out against domestic violence, partnering with Liz Claiborne and the National Domestic Violence Hotline for their campaign "Love is Not Abuse." She told The Insider of one particular incident: “I thought I was going to die. I really lost my breath...I was trying to hard to get him off of me. But then it just came to the point where he let me go.” We're happy she got out when she did.


6. Domestic Abuse: Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey 

Mariah admitted to being emotionally abused by an ex-boyfriend in 2009 on CNN's Larry King Live. "I just think you get into a situation and you feel locked in -- if your situation is similar to one of the situations I've been in, which I won't harp on," she said. Luckily, she was able to get out and move on -- marrying Nick Cannon in 2008.