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Teri Hatcher Opens Up About Childhood Sexual Abuse

Teri Hatcher broke down crying at a United Nations event while discussing her experiences with sexual abuse as a child.

Sadie Gennis

Teri Hatcher broke down crying at a United Nations event while discussing her experiences with sexual abuse as a child.

According to Yahoo!, Hatcher was speaking at the Nov. 25 event commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women when she recalled being molested by her uncle when she was 7.

"I was convinced it was my fault and I blamed myself for what had happened, so I didn't tell anyone and I was silent," Hatcher said. "I did, however, unsurprisingly, start to act out and my mother decided to keep me away from my uncle. I didn't see him anymore, but no one in my family ever asked exactly what happened. We remained silent."

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Hatcher said she was abused by Richard Hayes Stone, her uncle through marriage, until she was 8 or 9. He continued to molest other children, but it wasn't until 2002, when Hatcher learned about one of his victims committing suicide, that she reached out to the district attorney and helped put Stone away for 14 years.

"I was helping my parents pack up my childhood home and I came across a current newspaper article about a beautiful 11-year-old girl named Sarah from my hometown," Hatcher said. "The story recounted how she had wrapped her head in a towel in order to avoid making a mess and shot herself in the head. Her reason? In a suicide note, she implicated my uncle, who had been sexually abusing her for years."

Hatcher first spoke about her own abuse and Sarah's story in a 2006 Vanity Fair interview, in which she admitted, "I haven't tried to kill myself, but I've certainly thought about it." The Desperate Housewives star has been very active throughout her career in trying to prevent sexual abuse. On Nov. 24, Hatcher helped light the Empire State Building orange in honor of the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

"I am simply one in three women who is forced to accept violence as part of their life story," Hatcher told the listeners at the U.N. "I am one of three women who for the rest of her life battles the voice in her head that accepts blame for abuse, a voice that is antithetical to self-esteem, self-worth and happiness. This is a statistic that has to change. One in three women can no longer have to face a stigma and a fear that prevent them from seeking help."