Last Updated on August 6, 2023 by Cindy Bekesi
Throughout March, which is Women’s History Month – we highlighted strong and remarkable women who faced Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) growing up. The award-winning actress Halle Berry requires no introduction. But most people may not know that Halle Berry grew up with domestic violence (CDV).
Seeing the violence as a child
Halle was raised in a home with violence. There she would watch her mother beaten, kicked and hit with wine bottles. She saw the pain, fear and helplessness her mother endured. Her mother was like many women, who do not know how to escape these situations, and only understood later that there are ways to get help.
Halle described her experience in her own words, “I’m a victim of domestic violence…I wasn’t married to a man that beat me up, but my mother was…She stayed for too long and her children, my sister and I, saw far too much and I’ve suffered the damage of being a child of domestic violence.” (ENews, 2015) She has also gone on to say,“I’ve spent my adult life trying to really heal from that.” (CNN entertainment, 2010).
Raising awareness and understanding the impact of Domestic Violence later in life
It is for that reason that while maintaining a prolific career, Halle also has served for many years as a role model to men and women who have lived in homes with violence. She works with the Jenesse Center, attending fundraisers and events. She also helps to raise awareness for those organizations that can help families escape homes with violence.
Berry also understands not only her mother’s experience in that home, but also the impacts of her own experience. She realizes that the damage from enduring this as a child stays with you through adulthood. It impacts many aspects of your life, including your self-concept, self-esteem and self-worth. Growing up in a home with violence also has a direct connection to repeating the cycle of violence. It can wind up being passed on to the next generation – whether as the abuser or the abused.
Read more about Halle Berry’s childhood experience and her crusade to make a difference for others impacted at E News here.
To learn more about CDVA and our work, visit CDV.org