During Sunday’s Grammys, President Obama encouraged Americans to take personal responsibility to stop domestic violence and sexual assault as part of the White House’s ongoing ‘It’s On Us’ campaign. After his video aired, a woman named Brooke Axtell went on to share her personal story of domestic violence.
Axtell, an Austin-based writer, activist and performance artist, is the director of communications for Allies Against Slavery, a nonprofit that fights human trafficking. Before a performance by Katy Perry, Axtell told her story of abuse: Her partner became increasingly violent and eventually threatened to kill her, before Axtell told her mother about the incident and sought help.
According to an interview with Slate, Axtell herself was trafficked by her nanny at a young age before entering the abusive relationship in her adult life.
“Authentic love does not devalue another human being,” she said at the Grammys. “Authentic love does not silence shame and abuse.”