Nicole Kidman speaks out to help victimized women, children

NEW YORK — Nicole Kidman says that after seeing women and children who were victims of violence in Kosovo 10 years ago, she decided that one of the most important things in her life was to work to help them.

The Academy Award-winning actress told a fundraising dinner Wednesday night marking the 20th anniversary of the U.N. Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, that she has been speaking out ever since “to be a voice for the women who don’t have a voice.”

According to the United Nations, today one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence — mostly by an intimate partner.

Kidman, who is a goodwill ambassador for UN Women, urged the guests “to undo your wallets,” saying these women and girls “need us who have the ability, who have the money,” to help them.

UN Women said the dinner raised over $105,000, including a $50,000 donation from Kidman.

Over the past two decades, UN Women said the trust fund has provided support to 426 organizations in 136 countries and territories with grants totaling more than $116 million.

The fund’s grants have risen from $1 million in 1997 to supporting $57 million in grants in 2016.

The programs it supports focus on preventing violence, implementing of laws and policies, and improving access to vital services for survivors.

UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “We know that these vital investments in initiatives to end violence have high returns and have already made a difference to millions of women and girls.”

But she said much more needs to be done requiring substantial funding to “bring the scourge of violence against women to an end.”

Morgan Freeman to receive AARP lifetime achievement award

Morgan Freeman is adding another lifetime achievement prize to his mantelpiece.

AARP said Thursday the actor will receive its Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award at a gala ceremony next year.

The 79-year-old actor has already received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award and a National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama.

“At a certain point in life, if you’ve had some success, awards start to fall from the sky. But this one really means something,” Freeman said in a statement. “I started my movie career at 50 and some of the best years happened since then.”

He will accept the AARP honor at a dinner Feb. 6 in Beverly Hills, California. Previous recipients of the Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award include Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Robert Redford.

Freeman won an Academy Award for 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby” and has received four other nominations. His most recent film credits are “Ben-Hur” and “Now You See Me 2.”

The Associated Press

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