Disney star Olivia Stuck attends Calgary workshop to help victims of domestic violence
A young Disney star was among those who took the stage at a Calgary workshop held in support of domestic abuse survivors.
Olivia Stuck is known for her roles as Missy Bradford on Girl Meets World and Dawn Buckets on Kirby Buckets. On Sunday, she joined dozens of domestic abuse victims at the Central Library for the Zero to Hero event co-hosted by non-profit Gems for Gems and local homicide detective Dave Sweet.
“I was abused by the age of six to seven,” Stuck explained to Global News. “I was abused again by the age of 14 and then at the age of 17.
“It’s something that I’ve healed from — or I’m working to heal from — every day.”
The workshop was created with the aim of uniting and empowering survivors and teaching them skills to help them escape abuse, including counselling and self-defence.
WATCH: Oliva Stuck, Jordan Guildford and Dave Sweet join Global News Calgary to talk about an event designed for survivors of domestic abuse
“What we’ve discovered is the lack of confidence and the lack of financial independence from their abuser are the two main reasons why the cycle perpetuates,” Gems for Gems founder Jordan Guilford said. “These tools that we give them are ways to be able to clear some of the smoke and make it feel more doable.
“We just try to lead by example and show them that if it’s possible for us, it’s possible for you, too.”
Sweet, meanwhile, felt compelled to get involved with Gems for Gems after investigating a horrific case of domestic abuse a year ago in which 22-year-old Nadia El-Dib was attacked and killed by her ex-boyfriend. The young woman was stabbed dozens of times, shot twice and left to die in the backyard of a northeast Calgary home.
“I think that men, in general, have a huge part to play in raising awareness,” Sweet said. “If we’re going to (eradicate) domestic violence and abuse, we have to seriously start to have better conversations with our sons.”
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