Former soccer star Jillian Loyden has a new job: leading a foundation against domestic violence,which held its second annual “Break the Silence” gala Saturday in Philly.
For Loyden, 29, of South Jersey, the cause is personal. In 2012, her younger sister BrittonLoyden was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.
“I’m still living in the wake of what it’s done to my family,” Loyden said. “It stirred upa cause in me, where I was like, ‘No one else should ever have to go through this.’”
Loyden, formerly goalie with the U.S. Women’s National Team, retired a month ago to focus onher foundation and work as a soccer coach.
Loyden said she reaized that by sharing her story she could help others overcome the “taboo” of discussing domestic violence.
That became clear when a woman came up to her and embraced her after a soccergame last year.
“She said, ‘Jill, you saved my life,’” Loyden said. “I realized this was way moreimportant than anything I ever could do on the field.”
The Jillian Loyden Foundation presented two scholarships during the gala and is fundraising tosupport domestic violence education programs for youths.
For more information, visit JillianLoydenFoundation.org.