You may know Dave Navarro as the rock guitarist in Jane’s Addiction or the host of Spike’s Ink Master. You also may have seen him in the Viacom Says NO MORE public service announcement produced by the Joyful Heart Foundation and Viacom. But what you might not know is that when it comes to domestic violence, Navarro is much more than a tatted up rockstar using his celebrity to do good. His passion for ending domestic violence comes directly from his heart: he’s a survivor himself.
In March 1983, Navarro’s mother, Connie, and her friend, Sue Jory, were tragically murdered by Connie’s abusive ex-boyfriend in her home on a night Navarro was supposed to have been there. Just 15 years old at the time, he lived in terror for nearly a decade before his mother’s murderer was finally arrested.
“Even though domestic violence comes with a lot of shame, the fact is victims are not alone. Help is available for them and their families and I hope the movie shows that.”
The deeply personal and chilling film tells his story of dealing with the the trauma, pain and loss of his mother, including a dark period of Navarro’s life in which he struggled with addiction and depression. It also follows Navarro on a quest for closure of sorts as he confronts his mother’s murderer in prison.
The tragedy he faced is not what makes Navarro’s story so powerful, however. It’s his courage and willingness to revisit his dark past and share his story, in all its imperfections, with the world that makes an impact. In allowing others inside such an intimate, painful experience, Navarro’s story is no longer just his own. He speaks for the children of domestic violence who are often the forgotten victims. They do not always show physical wounds, but as the movie so exquisitely demonstrates, they carry emotional scars that go far, far deeper and continue to suffer the effects of the violence they witnessed.
“Even though domestic violence comes with a lot of shame, the fact is victims are not alone. Help is available for them and their families and I hope the movie shows that,” Navarro says.
And that is where the film’s beauty lies – in Navarro’s strength, courage, and resilience to use such a horrific, tragic event as a vehicle for creating social change.
Dave Navarro, thank you for sharing your story with the world. You are doing a really, really good thing.