Famous/Celebrity Survivors


My Favorite Survivor Role Models

  • Alice Miller, psychologist/writer (The Drama of the Gifted Child, Breaking Down the Wall of Silence, The Body Never Lies, The Truth Will Set You Free, etc.):  child abuse

Gloria Steinem, feminist/writer/Ms. Magazine (Revolution from Within):  child abuse

  • Tina Turner, singer/actress (I, Tina):  child abuse and neglect; domestic violence (Ike Turner)

Child Abuse/Neglect/Bullying Survivors Who Are Making a Difference

  • Christina Aguilera, pop singer/songwriter:  Womens Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburg; Lifetime’s End Violence Against Women Campaign
  • Walter Anderson, reitred Parade Magazine Chairman & CEO (Breaking the Silence:  Children’s Stories, a PBS documentary; Meant to Be)
  • Jodee Blanco, anti-bullying activist (The Evolving Woman, Please Stop Laughing at Me, Please Stop Laughing at Us)
  • Mary J. Blige, singer/songwriter/actress:  FFAWN, The Mary J. Blige Center for Women, Yonkers, NY
  • Doris Buffett, philanthropist:  Sunshine Lady Foundation
  • William J. Clinton, former president:  Violence Against Women Act (My Life)
  • Pat Conroy, best selling author/screenwriter (father was an officer in the U.S. Marines, Prince of Tides. The Great Santini)
  • Lee Daniels, movie director (father was a police officer, Precious/PUSH)
  • Sheriff David Drew, Sioux City, Iowa
  • Sally Field, actress: multiple DV charities
  • Jane Fonda, actress:  Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Preventionn (G-CAPP); V-Day (My Life, So Far)
  • Billy G. Hudson, Ph.D., entrepreneur/Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry:  Aspirnaut Initiative
  • Dr. Patrick J. Kelly, physician
  • Margaret Larson, host, New Day Northwest, KING5 (NBC affiliate), Seattle, WA
  • Kate Middleton, engaged to Prince William/bullying; Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund to benefit Beatbullying
  • Susan Murphy-Milano, activist/writer (father was a police officer, Defending Our Lives)
  • WA Rep. Toby Nixon (R), politician
  • Rosie O’Donnell, comedy/actress (Celebrity Detox)
  • U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R), sheriff/congressman:  solved Green River murders; VAWA funding for the Crystal Judson Family Justice Center in Tacoma, WA
  • Victor Rivas Rivers, NFL lineman/actor/activist:  Verizon Community Champion, NNEDV spokesperson
  • Lorenzo Romar, Univ. of WA basketball coach:  Lorenzo Romar Foundation, Men’s Network Against DV, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes PSA
  • Charlize Theron, actress (her mother shot her abusive, alcoholic father in self-defense):  V-Day
  • Joe Torre, major league baseball player, coach, and executive (father was New York City police officer, Chasing the Dream, Joe Torre’s Ground Rules for Winners):  Safe at Home Foundation, Margaret’s Place, Coach Boys into Men campaign, Founding Fathers
  • Clara Ward, community activist featured on Extreme Makeover:  Clara’s Way
  • Sela Ward, actress; Hope Village for Children
  • Wynona Ward, attorney:  Have Justice Will Travel

Child Molestation/Incest Survivors Who Are Making a Difference

  • Maya Angelou, global Renaissance woman (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Letter to My Daughter, “Phenomenal Woman”)
  • Martha Beck, psychologist, life coach, O Magazine columnist (Leaving the Saints ~ her father was a leader in the Mormon church)
  • Louise L. Hay, author, founder/publisher of Hay House; Hay Foundation (You Can Heal Your Life)
  • Ashley Judd, actress, author, activist, and U.S. Senate candidate (KY); (All That Is Bitter and Sweet)
  • Don Lemon, host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
  • Anglea Shelton, film producer, writer, activist (Searching for Angela Shelton, Angela Shelton Foundation, National Family Court Watch Project board of directors, The Survivor Manual blog)
  • Oprah Winfrey, talk show host/producer/actress (The Color Purple)
  • Virginia Woolf, writer (A Room of One’s Own)

Child Abuse/Neglect/Bullying/Incest Survivors (Physical and/or Emotional)

  • Pamela Anderson, actress
  • Louie Anderson, comic and author
  • Arcadian Broad, dance contestant on America’s Got Talent (bullying)
  • Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), U.S. Senator (sexual molestation/child abuse/Against All Odds)
  • Christopher Buckley, writer (son of William F. Buckley, Losing Mum and Pup)
  • Augusten Burroughs, writer (his father was an Ivy League professor, Running with Scissors, A Wolf at the Table, Possible Side Effects, etc.)
  • Chevy Chase, comedy/writer/actor (society family, I’m Chevy Chase. . .and You’re Not)
  • Christopher Dickey, Newsweek journalist (father was poet and Deliverance writer James Dickey, Summer of Deliverance)
  • Robert Allen (R.A.) Dickey, All-Star pitcher (Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball)
  • Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower, president
  • Christopher Paul Gardner, investment banker/venture capitalist (The Pursuit of Happyness)
  • Monique (Mo’Nique) Imes, actress
  • Jewel [Kilcher], singer
  • Stacey Lannert, prisoner (incest:  murdered her father)
  • Michael Lisagor, executive and consultant (child abuse, Romancing the Buddha)
  • Steve Martin, comedy/writer (Born Standing Up)
  • Mackenzie Phillips, actress (father:  John Phillips)
  • Christopher Quincy Maryatt, prosecuting attorney (descendant of John Quincy Adams)
  • Frank McCourt, best-selling author (Angela’s Ashes, Tis)
  • Alyse Myers, former New York Times marketing executive/writer (Who Do You Think You Are?)
  • Sandra Oh, actress
  • SARK, writer (A Creative Companion, Prosperity Pie, Eat Mangoes Naked, Succulent Wild Woman)
  • Tavis Smiley, talk show host (What I Know for Sure)
  • Norm Stamper, former Seattle, WA chief of police
  • Hillary Swank, actress
  • Amy Tan, best-selling author (The Joy Luck Club)
  • Meg Tilly, actress/writer (Gemma, Singing Songs)
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, CA
  • Jeannette Walls, best-selling author (Glass Castle, Half Broke Horses)
  • Mary Wilshire, illustrator of female superheroes

Dating Abuse Survivors

Sexual Assault/Sexual Harassment Survivors

  • Barbara Hall, producer of Joan of Arcadia
  • Jennifer Hopper, The Angel Project [breaking the silence and funding music therapy for survivors]
  • Jamie Leigh Jones, administrative assistant for KBR:  Jamie Leigh Foundation (sexual assault)
  • Cathy L. Lanier, Washington, DC chief of police
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI4), sponsor of H.R. 4116 and VAWA (sexual molestation and rape)
  • Lisa Paige,  president of the Alumni Network for Harvard Women, urged alums to suspend donations until Harvard does something about sexual assaults (sexual assault)
  • Gabrielle Union, actress

IPV/Domestic Violence/Stalking/Litigation Abuse Survivors Who Are Making a Difference

    • Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL24), VAWA (domestic violence)
    • Barbara Bentley, retired quality assurance manager, political activist, writer (A Dance with the Devil, The Little Book of Success: Turn Your Dreams into Reality with Four Simple Tools):  lobbied to change CA divorce laws
    • Halle Berry, actress:  The Jenesse Center in Los Angeles, CA; Mayor’s Fund Charity in NYC
    • Vernetta Cockerham, activist (featured in August, 2009 issue of O Magazine)
    • Charlotte Fedders, ex-wife of SEC official John Fedders (Shattered Dreams)
    • Lorena Bobbitt Gallo, Realtor/cosmetologist:  Lorena’s Red Wagon
    • Robin Givens, actress/activist; spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline (ex-wife of Mike Tyson, Grace Will Lead Me Home)
    • Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D., scholar/activist (Battered Mothers Custody Conference)
    • Monica Hunter, WA State Trooper
    • Carolyn Jessop, writer (ex-husband was leader of Mormon church, Escape)
    • Rita Henley Jensen, editor in chief of Women’s eNews:  Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses
    • Kathy Lambert, King County, WA Council Person
    • Catherine Lanigan, writer (Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, Evolving Woman)
    • Rita Anita Linger, former executive director of the North Carolina Coalition
    • L.Y. Marlow, corporate executive, writer:  Color Me Butterfly; advocate:  Saving Promise campaign
    • Christy Salters Martin, boxing champion; advocate
    • Fern Michaels, best-selling romance novelist:  Revenge of the Sisterhood series
    • Prof. Linda G. Mills, JD/Ph.D./academic:  controversial viewpoint (Insult to Injury)
    • Mildred Muhammad, writer/activist:  After the Trauma (ex-wife of DC Sniper John Allen Muhammad, Scared Silent)
    • Sherri Peak, activist:  hi-tech stalking
    • Denise Richards, actress (ex-wife of Charlie Sheen/spoke up for Brooke Mueller, his next ex-wife)
    • Kalyn Risker, human resources manager/activist:  SAFE, Detroit
    • Joanne “J.K.” Rowling, novelist (Harry Potter)/activist:  Volant Charitable Trust, YWCA’s 104 Pairs of Shoes, etc.
    • Nancy P. Tyler, attorney:  CT Coalition
    • Iyanla Vanzant, attorney/writer/spiritual leader (Faith in the Valley, In the Meantime, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, etc.)
    • Elissa Wall, FLDS child bride (testified against Warren Jeffs, Stolen Innocence)
    • Dr. Michelle Ward, criminal psychologist (stalking, host of Stalked:  Someone’s Watching)
    • Prof. Elaine Weiss, University of Utah School of Medicine (Surviving Domestic Violence:  Voices of Women Who Broke Free)
    • Karen M. Welch (stalking/changed NJ’s stalking laws/”Dangerous Games”)
    • Michele Weldon, journalist/writer; Between Friends and Sarah’s Inn (ex-wife of attorney, I Closed My Eyes, Writing to Save Your Life)
    • Marie C. Wilson, The White House Project and She Source (Closing the Leadership Gap:  Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World)

IPV/Domestic Violence/Litigation Abuse Survivors (Emotional, Financial, Physical, Spousal Rape, Adultery)

    • Sandra Boss, corporate consultant (her ex-husband “Clark Rockefeller” kidnapped her daughter)
    • Christine Brinkley, model/actress (divorcing a narcissist)
    • Juanita Bynum, televangelist (two marriages)
    • Connie Culp, received facial transplant
    • Carlene Cross, writer/instructor (ex-wife of mega-church preacher, Fleeing Fundamentalism)
    • Elizabeth Edwards, attorney (wife of Sen. John Edwards, D-NC)
    • Mary Margaret Farren, attorney at Skadden, Arps (estranged wife of J. Michael Farren, deputy White House counsel in G.W. Bush Administration)
    • Dorothy Gardner King Lynch Ford, First Mother (Pres. Gerald R. Ford)
    • Elizabeth Gilbert, writer (Eat, Pray, Love; Committed)
    • Katharine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post (Personal History)
    • Lula Hardaway, mother of Stevie Wonder (Blind Faith)
    • Whitney Houston, singer/actress/model (ex-wife of Bobby Brown)
    • Dr. Kate Jewell, physician
    • Beverly Johnson, supermodel, actress, singer, beauty mogul (IPV)
    • Virginia Dell Cassidy Blythe Clinton Dwire Kelley, First Mother (Leading with My Heart)
    • Dr. Jeanne I. King, psychologist (ex-wife of an OB/Gyn MD, All But My Soul)
    • Dr. Christine McFadden, veterinarian; MSSM Foundation (ex-husband murdered all four of their children)
    • Brooke Mueller (ex-wife of Charlie Sheen)
    • Vicki Myron, librarian (Dewey)
    • Terry O’Neill, president of NOW
    • Katha Pollitt, feminist poet/The Nation columnist (Learning to Drive)
    • Emily Post, etiquette maven
    • JoAnn Viola Salazar, attorney/librarian
    • Jenny Sullivan Sanford, heiress/investment banker/former First Lady of SC (ex-wife of Gov. Mark Sanford ~ ”hiking the Appalachian Trail”, Staying True)
    • Barbara Sheehan, prisoner (murdered her husband:  New York City police officer)
    • Dr. Robin L. Smith, psychologist/Oprah contributor (Lies at the Altar)
    • Leslie Morgan Steiner, Harvard graduate/writer (Crazy Love)
    • Donna Summer, singer/songwriter
    • Elizabeth Taylor, Academy Award winning actress/perfume mogul/HIV, AIDS activist
    • Hanah Nyala West, tracker/writer/Ph.D. candidate (Point Last Seen)
    • Mary C. White, WA teacher
    • Debra Winans, gospel singer (ex-wife of BeBe Winans)

Multiple or Unspecified Experiences of Abuse

    • Karen Armstrong, writer/former nun/comparative religion (The Spiral Staircase)
    • Cheryl Burke, dancer (sexual molestation and dating violence in two relationships, Dancing Lessons
    • Ellen Burstyn, actress (Lessons in Becoming Myself)
    • Georgia Durante, stunt driver (incest/ex-wife of a mobster/domestic violence/stalking, The Company She Keeps)
    • Ann Goetting, professor (Getting Out)
    • Erin Gray, model/actress:  Haven House, National Coalition Against DV, co-produced PSAs, speaker
    • Quincy Lucas, teacher (her sister was murdered by her ex-boyfriend/founder of Witney’s L.I.G.H.T.S./introduced Joe Biden at the Democratic Convention in 2008)
    • S. Epatha Merkerson, actress
    • Prof. Karen J. Wilson (When Violence Begins at Home)

© 2010-2012, Anne Caroline Drake

All Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights Reserved and Strictly Enforced.

11 responses to “Famous/Celebrity Survivors

  1. Ms. Risker,

    Thank you! I’m honored and humbled that you visited my little site and left a comment. I think what you are doing with SAFE in Detroit absoutely rocks. One of these days, I hope to interview you and include your story in my Life Rafts section.

    My sista Ricci lives in the Detroit area ~ it is one of my most favorite places to visit.

    Anne Caroline

  2. I am extremely impressed together with your writing talents and also with the
    structure for your weblog. Is this a paid topic or
    did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice high quality writing,
    it is uncommon to see a great weblog like this one these days.


  4. You have an exceedingly sharp eye, Ms. Jensen. I have pondered your question many times and haven’t yet come up with a good answer. I have been reluctant because she was so young when it happened, and it seemed like an invasion of her privacy. I similarly haven’t included the names of the women who were held hostage in Cleveland.

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to make a decision. It would be very helpful to me if you could share where you believe her name should be posted. Should I similarly post the names of the women in Cleveland?

    Best wishes,
    Anne Caroline


    Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2015 21:01:36 +0000 To: joycesaffrey@hotmail.co.uk

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