DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - When Christina Ricci talks about family violence, it's personal.
"With situations like this, I have to control my emotions," she said, before a crowd of roughly 550 guests Friday in Dallas.
Ricci was a featured guest at the annual Texas Trailblazers luncheon for The Family Place, the largest provider of services for victims of domestic violence in Texas.
Achieving fame at a young age for her role in the 1990 movie, Mermaids, Ricci has plenty keeping her busy these days.
The mother of two earned an Emmy nomination for her work in Yellowjackets and will soon help launch a new series, Wednesday Addams, focused on the iconic character she played in Addams Family Values at a young age.
She made time, though, to visit North Texas to highlight the work of The Family Place.
"I'm really happy to be here. I think this is such an important organization," she told CBS 11's Andrea Lucia during an interview on stage.
Ricci shared her own experiences as a survivor.
"I was a child in an abusive and violent household and then repeated that mistake as an adult," she said.
She touted the importance of improving education around abuse, citing reactions to a recent high profile case.
"I swear if that had happened when I was still in my situation, I would not have gotten out of my situation because watching the whole world react in this way would terrify me. So I think people need to be better educated, so that… the reaction, the reception, the understanding is deeper and better," she said.
That education, she said, is important for children who've grown up with family violence, too.
"Even though you've experienced it yourself, putting that in the right context helps you for the rest of your life to protect yourself," she said.
Ricci's appearance in Dallas helped draw roughly 550 people to Friday's luncheon, raising funds for The Family Place's three emergency shelters, its counseling services, and prevention programs.
"One in three Texans experience domestic violence, so by seeing someone like Christina Ricci speak up about her experience, hopefully that will inspire others to speak up and seek help," said The Family Place's CEO, Mimi Sterling.
Now remarried, Ricci says she is intent on modeling for her two children what a healthy relationship can look like.
"We talk a lot about healthy relationships and we talk a lot about kindness and how we treat people we love," she said.
If you believe you may be experiencing family violence or abuse, you can call The Family Place's 24 hour crisis hotline at 214-941-1991.
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