Halle Berry: “My Mother Was a Battered Woman”

 NBC News

Halle Berry is no stranger to domestic violence.

"My mother was a battered woman and that was my childhood for a good chunk of it," the star, 43, says in an interview with NBC's Natalie Morales for an NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams segment airing Thursday.

The Oscar-winning actress opens up about her inspiration for getting involved with Jenesse Center, an L.A.-based shelter that provides support for domestic violence victims and teaches them self-sufficiency.

"I care, I really care about these women and children," says Berry, who visits the center on Thursday's episode.

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For the past ten years, Berry has led fundraising campaigns and developed partnerships with companies that will bring more awareness to Jenesse Center. She has also had one-on-one interaction with women, like her, who have experienced abuse.

"Early on in my life, I made choices, and I chose men that were abusive because that was what I knew growing up," she said four years ago, when she was honored by the Jenesse Center for her humanitarian work.

Through therapy, the star has said she learned what to do if and when a relationship turned violent.

Now, however, Berry — who has said, "I'm not the girl that has the best relationships" — has found happiness with beau Gabriel Aubrey, with whom she has 19-month-old daughter Nahla.

In addition to Berry, the weeklong series on celebrity charities also features Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Tim McGraw and Glenn Close. As part of NBC Nightly News' regular feature, "Making a Difference," the celebrities visit some of the people whose lives they've touched in each segment.

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