Halle Berry isn’t letting her divorce proceedings or her petty exes get in the way of doing her charity work. Earlier this week, Berry made an appearance at a benefit for the Jenese Center in Los Angeles, which offers support and programs for victims of domestic violence. Berry, who has worked with the organization for nearly a decade, spoke about how domestic abuse affected her as a child.
“I saw my mother battered and beaten many years of my life and I felt helpless,” she said. “And that’s what connects me to this organization. I have an understanding, a knowing. I feel like I have something that I can impart to these women. It seems like I’ve overcome it, but I really haven’t. In the quiet of my mind, I still struggle. So while I’m helping these women, I’m helping myself through it, too. And that’s largely why I’m here.”
After her speech, Berry sat down with Extra and opened up about her personal life and the recent news of her divorce from Olivier Martinez. “I’m doing OK, I really am,” Berry told Extra.
“I, I keep pushing and I’m really happy to be here,” she said, referencing the charity benefit. “Whenever you’re going through anything in life, when you step outside yourself and focus on others, that’s always the best remedy for any situation that you’d rather not be dealing with.”
Berry was also asked how her daughter is handling having a mother who is a single parent, whether she realizes how tough and strong she is, and if Halloween was something the family celebrated amid all the drama.
“Oh yeah, you should be in my house!” Berry said. “Maceo [Berry’s son] didn’t go trick-or-treating ’cause he has the chicken pox, Nahla was a zombie cheerleader and we had a great [time] … I was a pirate and [Nahla], she’s like, ‘You’re a sexy pirate, Mommy.’ I’m like, ‘What do you know about a sexy pirate?’ “
On the subject of domestic violence, Berry elaborated on her involvement with the Jenese Center and how women end up in domestic violence situations.
“It starts from birth, it’s the messages that we’re given as a young child. Women are so often devalued, when we find ourselves in an abusive relationship, we don’t think we deserve better,” Berry stated.
Berry also says that she gives the women she spends time with the simplest advice when it comes to getting out of abusive relationships.
“I say something that’s very simple. If a man lays his hands on you one time. They’ll do it again,” Berry said. “You have to love yourself and your kids enough to go.”