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Charlize Theron has been vocal about the plight of gender-based violence in South Africa. Image by Flickr.
Gage Skidmore
Girls & Women

Charlize Theron Unveils 50 Female Celebrities Joining Her Fight Against Lockdown Domestic Abuse

By Oscar Lopez

MEXICO CITY, May 7 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — South African actress Charlize Theron on Thursday said more than 50 female celebrities, from actress Regina King to corporate leader Sheryl Sandberg, had joined her campaign to fight violence against women during the global coronavirus lockdowns.

The #TogetherForHer initiative, launched in April by the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project with CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, pledged R9.2 million ($500,000) to domestic violence shelters in the United States and South Africa.

"(One in three) women will experience gender-based violence in their lifetime; in the past year, 243 million women & girls have. Humanitarian crises like #COVID19 only make this worse," Theron said on Twitter.

"I'm so proud that these exceptional, powerhouse women heard my rallying cry [and] are uniting as one," she added.

More than 50 female role models from the worlds of film, sports, fashion, and business have pledged money to the campaign to help women facing violence while forced indoors.

During this unprecedented global crisis, we are being told to shelter in the safety of our homes – but what if our homes aren't safe? For the millions of women and children around the world sheltering with their abuser, home can be dangerous. That's why in support of the global fight against domestic violence during the #covid19 crisis, @ctaop and I are joining forces with CARE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation in standing #TogetherForHer. My team is committing $1 million to COVID relief efforts, with $500,000 specifically designated towards our Together For Her campaign, supporting women against domestic violence through the provision of funds and resources to trusted domestic violence shelters around the world. Our rallying cry is this: Please join us in showing women experiencing domestic violence that they are not alone – we are behind them, with them, for them, #TogetherForHer.

A post shared by Charlize Theron (@charlizeafrica) on

Actresses to join Theron's campaign include Michelle Williams, Salma Hayek, and Laura Linney, as well as Academy Award-winner Viola Davis. Donations to the fund will support women in up to 100 countries, according to a campaign statement.

"I am a child survivor of domestic violence. It is the last of the acceptable abuses," said Fences actor Viola Davis in a statement. "Providing funds to give (survivors) the means to get out and the emotional support to know they are worthy is everything."

Other women to join the campaign include Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Somali model Iman, and British fashion designer Stella McCartney.

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Concern over abuse of women under quarantine has increased around the world, with calls to domestic violence hotlines in Europe rising by as much as 60% during the pandemic.

Last month U.N. chief Antonio Guterres called on governments worldwide to urgently tackle a "horrifying global surge" in domestic violence fuelled by coronavirus lockdowns.

Theron has a long history campaigning against domestic abuse, serving as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on ending violence on women since 2008.

The 44-year-old won an Academy Award for her role in the 2003 movie "Monster", in which she played serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who came from a background of violence and abuse.

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Here's the complete list of female celebrities who are standing #TogetherForHer:

1. Charlize Theron

2. Danai Gurira

3. Aisha Tyler

4. Octavia Spencer

5. Alexandra Daddario

6. Allison Janney

7. Iman

8. Diane von Furstenberg

9. Alyssa Milano

10. America Ferrera

11. Stacey Snider

12. Amy Schumer

13. Arianna Huffington

14. Claire Danes

15. Regina King

16. Michelle Monaghan

17. Natalie Portman

18. Sarah Silverman

19. Paris Jackson

20. Rachel McAdams

21. Reese Witherspoon

22. Sheryl Sandberg

23. Annie Lennox

24. Patty Jenkins

25. Olivia Wilde

26. Michelle Williams

27. Megan Rapinoe

28. Rita Angel Taylor

29. Salma Hayek

30. Stacey Snider

31. Anne Hathaway

32. Maria Grazia Chiuri

33. Awkwafina

34. Melissa RoxburghMichelle Pfeiffer

35. Diane Raphael

36. Kathleen Kennedy

37. Melissa Benoist

38. Gabby Williams

39. Mariska Hargitay

40. Lauren Conrad

41. Hannah Taylor Skvarla

42. Kristen Wiig

43. Laura Linney

44. Courteney Cox

45. Lindsey Vonn

46. Kristen Stewart

47. Kimberly Williams-Paisley

48. Connie Britton

49. Judith Light

50. Bellamy Young

51. January Jones

52. Jennifer Garner

53. Kimberly Steward