5 Celebs Who Overcame Domestic Violence

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Rihanna domestic abuse
These famous ladies turned hardship into triumph.

Robin Givens

The former Head of the Class and The Game actress was married to boxer Mike Tyson for just a year, and later said that Tyson, who served three years in prison for rape after their divorce, had beaten her during their marriage. "I didn't understand how a man could say that the best punch he ever threw was against his wife," Robin said last week at a gala benefit for the charity Knock Out Abuse. But she also said that she became a stronger person from overcoming the abuse. "I know there is opportunity in adversity. He really helped make me the woman I am today," she said. "Far from perfect, but on a good road. I like myself, you know?"

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Christina Aguilera

The singer spoke about growing up with an abusive father in a recent documentary for E!, saying that her father, Fausto, was mercurial and violent. "I witnessed a lot of unpleasant things—a lot of pushing and shoving and fighting and quarreling," she said in September. "Growing up I did not feel safe. Feeling powerless is the worst feeling in the world. I turned to singing as an outlet. The pain at home is where my love for music came from." Christina and her father briefly reconciled in 2000, but she later broke off contact with him. Now, married and the mother of an almost-two-year-old son, Christina says her relationship with her husband helped her break the cycle of abuse. She has also auctioned off concert tickets and memorabilia to benefit domestic violence charities, and spoken of opening a shelter for battered womenShocking Percentage Of Women Think Abuse Is OK

Tina Turner

The diva Tina is one of American pop music's most inspiring stories, from her R&B beginnings with ex-husband Ike Turner, her revelations of his abuse, and her later success with What's Love Got to Do With It and enduring popularity as a consummate entertainer. Tina and Ike were married in 1958 and began churning out a string of hits. The marriage began to fall apart in the '70s due to Ike's drug use and abusive behavior. Tina fled the marriage in 1976 with less than a dollar to her name and the divorce was finalized in 1978. She struggled to find her artistic footing, but came roaring back in 1984 with the smash "What's Love Got to Do With It." In 1986 she published her autobiography, I, Tina, which discussed her abusive marriage candidly. She has gone on to tour like a woman half her age for the past three decades. Ike died in 2007 and Tina released a terse statement: "Tina hasn't had any contact with Ike in more than 30 years. No further comment will be made." When Oprah Winfrey presented Tina with a Kennedy Center Honor in 2008, she said, "I love you. I respect you. And you make me proud to spell my name w-o-m-a-n." Tina will turn 70 this month, and remains completely awesome.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline can help. Call 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) or visit http://www.ndvh.org.

Photo via Bauer-Griffin.

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