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Watch Jana Kramer’s Powerful Speech About Domestic Violence at Safe Horizon’s 2017 Champion Awards Ceremony

On April 5, Jana Kramer was honored by Safe Horizon, an agency for victims of domestic violence, during their 2017 Champion Awards ceremony. Kramer received their Voice of Empowerment Award, in recognition of her efforts to speak out against domestic violence, and gave a powerful, emotional speech, which readers can watch in full above.

In October, Kramer revealed that her first ex-husband, Michael Gambino, was physically and emotionally abusive to her, even once nearly killing her. Kramer admitted at the time that she stayed married to Gambino because she was “ashamed” and “terrified to tell anybody.” During her Champion Awards speech, Kramer recounted Gambino’s abuse and how it affected her professionally and personally.

“I thought that if I shared my story, that people would view me as broken … [so] I held it in for 14 years,” Kramer told the audience. “It kept getting worse, and I didn’t know how to get out … I was a girl full of light, energy and charm, and this man just broke me down to absolutely nothing.”

Following her marriage to Gambino, Kramer was married to actor Johnathon Schaech and then was engaged to Brantley Gilbert. She married Michael Caussin in 2015, and the couple welcomed their first child, daughter Jolie Rae Caussin, in January of 2016; however, they are currently separated.

Before accepting her award from Safe Horizon, Kramer visited one of the organization’s shelters, where she met some of the children staying there. During her speech, Kramer noted that “to go in there and see these beautiful children being protected means the absolute world to me as a mother.”

The 22nd annual Champion Awards ceremony and gala raised $1.4 million to support Safe Horizon’s programs, a press release reports.

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