The Big Little Lies star was in the running with co-star Reese Witherspoon, Felicity Huffman, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, and Carrie Coon for the coveted award at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards held on September 17 in Los Angeles.
While accepting the award, she discussed the domestic violence her character, Celeste, experiences at the hand of her husband, Perry (played by Alexander Skarsgard, who also won an Emmy last night for his role in the HBO series).
“Sometimes when you’re acting, you get a chance to bring a bigger message—we shine a light on domestic abuse," Nicole said. "It is a complicated, insidious disease that exists far more than we allow ourselves to know. It is filled with shame, secrecy and by you acknowledging me with this award, it shines a light on it even more. So thank you, thank you, thank you. I bow down to you.”
According to data compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women (and one in four men) have been victims of some sort of physical violence at the hand of their partner in their lifetime. There are, on average, 20 incidents of physical abuse at the hand of an intimate partner every minute, equating to more than 10 million men and women each year.
Nicole also gave her husband, Keith Urban, and two daughters a sweet shout-out in her acceptance speech. She acknowledged the challenges of working and parenting, noting her family's "sacrifice" so that she can pursue her career. "I want my little girls to have this on their shelf and to look at it and go, ‘Every time my momma didn’t put me to bed, it’s because of this. I got something,’” she said.
Watch Nicole's moving acceptance speech:
The gripping HBO show was based on the bestselling book of the same name by Liane Moriarty. The women who starred in it shared that they were drawn to the story in response to their unhappiness with their own careers.
“This is a friendship that then created opportunities,” Nicole explained when accepting the award for best limited series or TV movie. “It created opportunities out of a frustration because we weren't getting offered great roles. So now, more great roles for women, please.”
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.