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11/05/2015 01:52 pm ET

Halle Berry Opens Up About Experience With Domestic Abuse

"In the quiet of my mind, I still struggle."

Halle Berry recently discussed her experiences with domestic abuse, saying it is one of her life's purposes to help other women deal with the difficult issue. 

On Wednesday, the actress attended the Imagine VIP cocktail party to benefit the Jenesse Center, a national domestic violence prevention and intervention organization. During the event, she gave a speech in which she talked about her own personal struggles with domestic abuse and violence.

"I saw my mother battered and beaten many years of my life and I felt helpless," she said, adding, "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."

She continued, "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."

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Back in 1996, Berry opened up to People magazine about being physically abused by a former boyfriend; she was hit so hard her eardrum was punctured.

And while Berry never named names, her ex-husband, David Justice, took to Twitter earlier this week to slam Berry for vilifying her exes. He quickly changed his tune and thanked the actress for "squashing all of the rumors" that he was the one who abused her. Despite the media frenzy surrounding Justice's accusations, Berry has not spoken out directly about the topic. 

Aside from all the controversy surrounding her and Justice, last week, Berry and her third husband, Olivier Martinez, announced that they're divorcing after two years of marriage


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