This country star’s abusive nightmare becomes a beacon for others in tearful speech YouTube screenshot/Safe Horizon
YouTube/Safe Horizon

We’ve always applauded Jana Kramer’s acting and dancing roles as much as we have praised her as a country star. But, when the precious singer revealed the truth about her dark, abusive past, we were on our feet in support. And on April 6, Jana was recognized by an authority on domestic violence, assault and abuse—Safe Horizon.

According to “The Huffington Post,” journalist Tamron Hall, whose sister was a fatal victim of domestic abuse, presented Jana with Safe Horizon’s Voice of Empowerment Award for speaking up about her own frightening experience as the victim of a violent relationship with her first husband, Michael Gambino.

RELATED: A teary-eyed Jana Kramer discusses narrowly escaping death

The petite actress and country star was poised and gracious as she began speaking to the audience at Safe Horizon’s 22nd Annual Champion Awards. “I can sing in front of thousands of people and be on set, but one of my greatest fears is public speaking, so please forgive me for being up here and shaking,” she said, “but also another huge fear of mine was my story because I thought if I shared my story people would view me as broken.”

As Jana continued telling her story, she became emotional, describing in detail the abuse that she endured and the helplessness she felt when she thought she had no source of refuge. And when her husband choked her to the point of causing her to pass out, Jana tearfully remembered seeing her life flash before her: “I just remember seeing my mom and it was like, why couldn’t I reach out to my family. And that’s what I love about Safe Horizon, because there is a place where you can reach out and you can talk about it.”

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Jana went on to say that once Michael was in jail and she was set free from him, her family did become her sanctuary. The truly genuine singer ended her speech with an authenticity that proved how unbroken she truly is.


“I have a really important story I want to tell,” she said. “I never understood why it happened to me, but now knowing the platform that I have, I want to be a voice and I want to be able to help as many people because it happened to me because God knew that I could rise from it and be healthy and…figure out my shit. Sorry. That’s just the Detroit in me.”

Well done, Jana.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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