CRIME

Reese Witherspoon warns kids of domestic violence

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AP) - Actress Reese Witherspoon has had the talk with her two young children. Not the sex talk. The domestic violence talk.

As a Global Ambassador for Avon's efforts to help victims of domestic violence, Witherspoon traveled to the Washington area to speak to the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters, prompting a talk with Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8. Though her kids were shocked to hear how one in three women are abused in this country, Witherspoon said it was important for them to be aware of the problem, especially her daughter who is almost old enough date.

At a time when bullies are responding with violence, Witherspoon also says parents must educate themselves and their children about social media and "what constitutes harassment, what is acceptable and what is not."

Domestic violence is a topic in many songs, including Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead," where she sings about shooting an abusive husband. Witherspoon says such songs "create retaliation fantasies," which are "a very important part of our psychology," but she doesn't think they replace the effectiveness of going public about domestic violence.

Witherspoon says talking publicly "creates empowerment" among women and helps them feel they're not alone. She said it often gives them the courage to go to a shelter or take legal action that could save their lives.

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