Teri Hatcher recently spoke to a group of bigwigs at the U.N. on a topic that was very personal for her.
It was a United Nations event commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Teri Hatcher tried to hold it together as she related that she was sexually molested by an uncle when she was seven years old.
“I was convinced it was my fault and I blamed myself for what had happened, so I didn’t tell anyone and I was silent,” she told the group. “I did however, unsurprisingly, start to act out and my mother decided to keep me away from my uncle. I didn’t see him anymore, but no one in my family ever asked exactly what happened. We remained silent.”
But Hatcher was not the only person who carried that dark secret. Her uncle had molested other girls.
“I was helping my parents pack up my childhood home and I came across a current newspaper article about a beautiful 11-year-old girl named Sarah from my hometown,” Hatcher related. “The story recounted how she had wrapped her head in a towel in order to avoid making a mess and shot herself in the head. Her reason? In a suicide note, she implicated my uncle, who had been sexually abusing her for years.”
Hatcher stopped holding her secret, and cooperated with authorities to put her uncle away. He died in prison.
— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 26, 2014
Hatcher has dedicated her life to helping other women who have suffered the kind of abuse she suffered. Like Paul Walker, she uses her celebrity and money to shine a light on the plight of those less fortunate.
“I am simply one in three women who is forced to accept violence as part of their life story,” Hatcher said. “I am one of three women who for the rest of her life battles the voice in her head that accepts blame for abuse, a voice that is antithetical to self-esteem, self-worth, and happiness. This is a statistic that has to change. One in three women can no longer have to face a stigma and a fear that prevent them from seeking help.”