By Alexandra Whittaker
Updated Mar 26, 2018 @ 5:15 pm
Michael Loccisano

Christina Aguilera is hard at work on her new album, but she's taken pause in order to address something that has profoundly impacted her: domestic violence. The singer graces the cover of this month's Paper magazine, and in her interview, she chooses to talk about a difficult part of her childhood.

"I watched my mom have to be submissive, watch her Ps and Qs or she's gonna get beat up," Aguilera said. "You can either be, unfortunately, so damaged by it that you take a turn for the worse, or you can feel empowered by it and make choices to never go down that route."

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Aguilera then decided she would never allow herself to rely on other people for her happiness, and that's not the only lasting impact her childhood has had on her. Aguilera has no patience for people who victim blame in cases of domestic violence.

"I hate when people say, 'Why doesn't she just leave?' There's psychological damage and mental abuse that comes with being in a situation like that," Aguilera said. "A lot of people don't have the ability to vocalize it themselves or have the know-how to get out."

While some might be surprised to hear that, Aguilera has spoken out about her encounters with domestic abuse before. She's partnered with Verizon's HopeLine program to connect survivors of domestic violence to resources, and she's spoken out about how abuse has impacted her life.

"I know I am not the only person who has experienced such pain and betrayal caused by abuse and violence," she told Forbes in 2016. "That is why I feel it's so important now to use my voice to support efforts to spread awareness and encourage engagement against domestic violence."

Her advice to those suffering is simply, but powerful.

"Surprisingly, you are not alone. Women, men, and children are sadly victims of domestic violence," Aguilera said. "My only advice is to not be afraid to speak to someone or to seek help."