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5 Powerful Women Who Made Themselves Heard

There are countless inspiring stories of women who are speaking out loudly regarding women’s safety—some of whom have experienced violence directly, against loved ones, or in communities that are near and dear to their hearts. These determined women range from oppressed women living in third-world countries to U.S. celebrities who are fighting back and inciting change.


From Cameroon activist Mokube Bertha to A-List actress Angelina Jolie, the following strong women are empowered females and dedicated philanthropists who are committed to the greater good for women internationally.


Mokube Bertha: Rising Above Abuse & Misogyny

A resident of Southwest Cameroon, 42-year-old Mokube Bertha has endured endless ridicule from men in her culture because she is an educated woman. They insist she has wasted her years studying instead of fulfilling her duties as a woman. In her country, women and girls are seen as disloyal when they attempt to create better lives for themselves, with violence often being the punishment.


Mokube’s experience led to her entering the International Rescue Committee (IRC) training program for community advocates. She is now helping to address gender-based violence and creating protective environments for at-risk women and girls in her country. Through her work, she has empowered women and girls to stand up for themselves and change the narrative around women’s’ roles in Cameroon.


Charlize Theron: Fighting for Safety

Charlize Theron is a revered Hollywood actress and dedicated advocate for women’s safety—a passion inspired by her own personal experience with domestic violence. At the age of 15, her mother fatally shot her alcoholic father after he threatened the family in a drunken rage. In 2003, she won an Academy Award for her role in the movie “Monster,” in which she played a serial killer with a family history of violence and abuse.


As a United Nations Messenger of Peace, Charlize advocates for the end of all forms of violence against women. Raised during apartheid in South Africa, Theron has filmed public service announcements for the Cape Town Rape Crisis Center and traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to raise awareness about sexual violence against women and girls. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Theron partnered with CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to launch Together for Her, an initiative that raises funds to support domestic violence shelters during times of crisis. Theron has leveraged her celebrity status for good, showing every woman that they never need to feel unsafe or powerless.


Tracey Thurman: Standing Strong Against Abuse

A Torrington, Connecticut housewife who suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her husband, Tracey Thurman was failed countless times by local law enforcement in the early 1980s when trying to seek help. After ignoring her pleas for protection, Tracey became a symbol for domestic violence after her husband stabbed her 20 times and broke her neck in a savage attack. She survived, but her husband served only eight years in prison.


Thurman became a catalyst for U.S. legal reform in 1984 when she sued the City of Torrington and 24 of its police officers for their failure to protect her. Thurman vs. City of Torrington led to a groundbreaking decision when a U.S. District Court ruled that the police department had violated Tracey’s civil rights by ignoring alarming signs of domestic violence. As a result of this ruling, Connecticut enacted the Family Violence Act in 1986 which provides directives and guidelines to police about how family violence cases are handled. The Act requires police to respond aggressively to reports of family violence, which has led to an increase in arrests and prosecutions. The Act also provides family violence education and training as well as victim counseling and support services.


Tamron Hall: Advocating for Change

Tamron Hall is a journalist and television host—but more importantly, a domestic violence survivor who has used her celebrity platform to raise awareness for abuse victims. In 2019, she launched The Tamron Hall Show, opening up candid dialogue and honest conversations on topics ranging from mental health to domestic violence.


In addition to her work on her show, Hall is an advocate for changing the way domestic violence cases are handled. She founded The Tamron Hall Initiative to provide funding for organizations that support victims of abuse and their families. It also provides legal aid and counseling services to ensure survivors have access to necessary resources for healing and recovery.


Through her advocacy, Hall has shown women that it’s possible to break free from abuse and turn the experience into something positive. She is a loud voice for those who have been silenced by their abusers and empowers women to fight against domestic violence.


Angelina Jolie: Making a Difference

Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress, director, and humanitarian. One of her many humanitarian efforts is centered around sexual violence, for which she has successfully used her celebrity status to raise awareness. In 2012, she co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, which aims to end impunity for sexual violence crimes in areas of armed conflict. The Initiative provides medical assistance, mental health support, and legal services to victims of these crimes. By 2018, more than 150 countries signed a commitment to end impunity for war-zone rape, with teams in place to gather evidence in support of prosecutions.


Jolie has also worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency on multiple projects related to protecting refugees from sexual violence, and in 2014, she partnered with fashion designer Stella McCartney to launch the Draw Me to Safety Campaign. The campaign aims to end sexual violence in war-torn countries and aid children living in these areas.


Hootie Supports Female Empowerment

The team behind Hootie, a personal safety device that allows women to live their lives freely without fear of violence, applauds these amazing women for their philanthropy and humanitarian efforts focused on women’s safety. The Hootie brand understands that safety is a fundamental right and wants to ensure that all women are empowered to live the life they want. We hope that sharing these stories motivates women to take action against violence and inspires them to protect themselves in every environment and situation.