Soap Opera Digest
Hot Off The Net
On-screen, Valerie Wildman's DAYS OF OUR LIVES character, Fay, is enmeshed in a dangerous cycle of abuse at the hands of her husband, Paul. In real life, Wildman is using her Web site - and celebrity - to fight it.
While reading the feedback on her site and communicating with her fans on its message boards, Wildman, who is earning her doctorate in clinical psychology, realized that her site could also be a resource for women who have experienced domestica violence. "In talking to my fans," explains the actress, "I found people airing their frustrations with Fay for lteting Paul into her bed. So, I wanted them to know that abused women have options."
With the relaunch of Wildman's site, which takes place in the next few weeks, she decided to include links to various charities with which she is associated. "There's www.silenttears.org, a group of women who have been in abusive relationships that counsel other women; Family Violence Prevention Fund, www.fvpf.org, and some local shelters that I'm starting to get involved with, too."
Wildman finds the timing of Fay's storyline and her doctorate "amazingly synchronistic. It's an amazing coincidence that this has been my specialty in graduate school, while I explore this with Fay."
And if Wildman's days aren't busy enough, the actress has also considered getting hotline training to be more hands-on with battered women. "So, you never know who you'll get on the phone if you call," smiles Wildman. "It may just be Fay Walker."