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Actress Halle Berry was recently honored for her work at the Jenesse Center, Los Angeles’ oldest domestic violence center. While attending last night’s unite4:good unite4:humanity’s gala, the Academy-Award winning actress revealed why the organization is so near to her heart: her mother is a domestic abuse survivor. Halle, who’s been volunteering for 15 years, told the audience according to E! News:

I wasn’t married to a man that beat me up, but my mother was.

Halle confessed she was only 5 years old when she saw first hand when her mother Judith Ann Hawkins being beaten, “day after day after day”. Halle also admitted to watching her mom get “kicked down the stairs” as well as hit in her head with a wine bottle. Halle stated:

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.

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Halle also revealed her mother suffered through the abuse for quite some time before she decided to leave. Witnessing the abuse caused both Halle and her older sister Heidi to suffer from damage of being a child of domestic violence. Years after her mother finally left the relationship, Halle is giving her time to the organization in order to help those in need due to the horrific experience she’s had. Halle stated:

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.


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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.