The conversation around domestic violence should not just focus on the abuse and involvement of women but men too, tennis star Serena Williams said during a visit to New York City this week.
“I think expanding the conversation to men and expanding the conversation to young boys, it’s so important,” Williams, 36, is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion made the comments during an event for the Allstate Foundation Purpose Purse initiative. Williams is an ambassador for the effort, which works to stop domestic abuse and also the financial abuse that can come out of troubled relationships, the Daily Mail reports.
“This is a human rights issue,” Serena Williams said. “We should all be treated the same. We should be treated equal. With domestic abuse, it doesn’t care what color you are, what background you’re from.”
Williams said that becoming a mother has sharpened her focus on the issue of domestic violence. The tennis star gave birth to daughter Olympia, her first child, in September. She is married to Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.
“This could be something that my daughter could face and that’s not cool,” Williams said. “I want her to know that she can always talk to me, and talk to other people; that maybe she doesn’t have a voice, maybe she can’t use her voice, but we can be her voice, we can support her in so many different ways.”
Williams returned to the French Open last month but was forced to withdraw because of a pectoral chest injury. She did say, however, that she anticipates she will be healthy for Wimbledon next month.
“Oh that’s a plan, absolutely, absolutely, and I’ve been working toward it,” she said.
Williams’ father, Richard Williams, will be inducted into the American Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame.
“I know he is excited about that and I am too,” the Daily Mail quoted Williams as saying. “I was just with him yesterday and we talked about it.”