The Frida star interviewed numerous victims of abuse during her research for movie parts, and was so horrified by their stories she joined The Avon Foundation's "Speak Out Against Domestic Violence" program last year, to support battered woman and raise awareness of domestic abuse.
She's thrilled U.S. senators are renewing an 11-year-old law against household violence, and told legislators there's been a dramatic decline in incidences of domestic abuse since the law came into effect.
Hayek told the gathering that too many women are still suffering at the hands of their partners, brothers or fathers and will continue to do so unless legislators reinforce the key law.
She explained, "Not long ago, I had to do some research for a part. I talked to 13 women who were in jail for life. I was very surprised to see how crucial the background in domestic violence was for every one of them.
"I was completely distracted from my research, it was so moving and compelling.
"I believe that America very strongly strives to be a nation of security, safety, but how can we feel safe if such a high percentage of American families don't feel safe in their own homes?"
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