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Halle Berry Opens Up About Childhood Experience with Domestic Violence

"I've suffered the damage"

Sadie Gennis

Halle Berry recalled surviving horrific domestic violence in her childhood during a speech at the unite4:humanity gala Thursday night.

"I'm a victim of domestic violence," the actress said at the event according to E! News. Berry was honored at the gala with the Creative Conscience Award for her volunteer work at the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program in Los Angeles. "I wasn't married to a man that beat me up, but my mother was."

Berry said she was five years old when she first witnessed the abuse, which resulted in her mother being beaten "day after day after day." The Oscar winner recalled watching her mother get "kicked down stairs" and hit in the head with a wine bottle.

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"Knowing that she wanted nothing more then for her little girls to see her be empowered and be a woman of strength, but having no way to make that happen was heartbreaking for me," Berry said.

"She stayed for too long and her children, my sister and I, saw far too much and I've suffered the damage of being a child of domestic violence," Berry continued.

Berry began working with the Jenesse Center15 years ago. "The reason I say this organization is my heart and soul is because I understand the good that it does and the lives that it changes and the impact it has on women and the children in our community," she said.