Texans' DeAndre Hopkins, mom Sabrina help domestic violence victims
HOUSTON – Houston Texans fans know what DeAndre Hopkins can do on the field. Eleven touchdowns and over 1,500 yards last season. But what's more impressive is what he's been doing off the field.
As we found out this week at their charity event, he and his mother are using their own experience with domestic violence to help others.
Three-time Pro Bowler Hopkins has arguably the best hands in the NFL. Known for his insane one-handed catches, the All-Pro is well on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer.
His biggest fan is his mom, Sabrina, who has a front-row seat to his amazing career but unfortunately has never seen a single touchdown.
"At the age of 12, my mom was assaulted and she was left blind. Since middle school, she hasn't seen me play football," Hopkins said.
In 2002, Sabrina was the victim of an abusive relationship resulting in a chemical attack that nearly killed her.
Despite the attempt to end Sabrina's life, she not only survived, she triumphed. She raised and sent four of her kids to college, and now she devotes her life to helping empower families affected by domestic violence.
"She raised four kids on her own. She has done things unimaginable. She sacrificed to make sure her kids had a good career one day," Hopkins said.
"Seeing what she went through, does that make you just want better for all women who are in those situations?" we asked him.
"It does, it does. You can't help everyone, but if we can help one family, two families, then we feel like our time on this earth was worth it," Hopkins said.
"Why do you think domestic violence is such a cycle? It's so hard to get out of a situation like that once you're in it," we asked.
"It's systematic. Women seeing things growing up and following that cycle. It's hard to break a cycle when you don't have the resources," Hopkins said.
Hopkins and his mother want to use their platform to show victims of domestic violence that there is a way out and they are taking it a step further by providing victims with the resources to do it.
"A lot of women who go through those situations, they don't know where to start. They don't have the help. But my mom and I are building something in South Carolina that's helping women with that transition. To provide furniture for them, or a bed," Hopkins said. "Even counseling. We provide free counseling. The next step is providing jobs for those women or relocations."
"Why do you think it's important for you to share your story? You could decide to keep it personal or not want to talk about it. But why do you feel like it's important for you to do this?" we asked.
"Because my mom and what she went through. I see how important it is to her. To have kids and not be able to see them do what they love," Hopkins said.
Even though Sabrina might not see Hopkins' talent and passion on the field, she can feel it.
"What does it mean to you that even though she can't see you? She's still there front row, supporting every game, I know her support still means the same," we asked.
"It does it means the world. I put her on the first row so that she can feel me when I do score. Just having that support, knowing my mom is right there. Sometimes, you know, I peek over just to see her what she's doing and her facial expression, and we have family around telling her what's going on," Hopkins said.
Clearly, she hears his name often during a game.
"Yeah, so when she doesn't hear my name, she'll be like, 'Alright I didn't hear your name enough. What's going on?'" Hopkins said.
Hopkins said to be on the lookout for a movie that is currently in the works about his mom. It will tell her inspiring story of courage and perseverance. If you want to find out more about Sabrina's nonprofit organization S.M.O.O.O.T.H. (with three O's), go to www.smooothinc.org.
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