Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon with Halle Berry (PRNewsFoto/March of Dimes)
The minute domestic violence and abuse became an issue in any of her relationships, Halle Berry told NBC Nightly News on the below full interview from MSNBC.msn.com below, she was out the door.
"One guy hit me in the eardrum and I lost 80 percent of my hearing in my left ear," Halle Berry admitted in past interviews with Ebony magazine, but Berry never named the person who abused her, despite rampant online and offline speculation as to his identity.
"I've never gotten into this situation where I had to run to a shelter, but I've certainly been a woman who has struggled with my worth and my value," Halle Berry told NBC Nightly News.
Berry supports the Jenesse Center -- a domestic violence center in Los Angeles that helps more than 8,000 women a year and has grown to many locations.
"My mother was a battered woman so that was my childhood for a good chunk of it," Berry explained. "And I really care about these women and these children."
Why did Berry's mom stick around for such abuse? She's still trying to discover that for herself, answer those tough questions, Halle said about her mother.
"Why did she put up with that and subject her children to growing in that environment because we're still dealing with the effects of it -- my sister and I, too," Berry recalled, saying the women who come at night, battered and bruised and bleeding and cold with their children to the domestic abuse shelter don't care about her being famous.
"They really don't care about celebrity; they are trying to live day to day," Halle explained, saying the battered women have more pressing concerns that Berry's fame. "They're sick, too, they're struggling to heal their lives, to realize that they really are worth it. They have to do it for the sake of the children."
The center helps clean them up, file restraining orders, and file for a divorce -- if that's what they want. Berry said they also have a new computer lab to learn new skills.
"Much is required of these women. It's hard work. They are allowed to come back if they fail," Halle told NBC Nightly News that unlike other shelters that give abused women only one chance to go through their programs, the Jenesse Center is different.
"They get encouragement, they need love. It's run by Karen Earl. She is compassionate -- she cares about women. It's not just a job to her. The staff are really committed to giving back. They are very patient people," Berry stated about the people dedicated to helping hurting women.
"I like when I come here," Berry said.