The X-Men star has been a victim of domestic abuse in a previous relationship with an unnamed boyfriend and has also witnessed the violence her mother was subjected to when she was growing up.

Earlier this week (begs02Nov15), the Oscar winner hit headlines when her ex-husband, David Justice, took to to comment on her latest divorce from Frenchman Olivier Martinez. In the posts, he took aim at the Berry for repeatedly failing to silence decades-old rumours suggesting he was the ex-lover who punched her in the ear, leaving her partially deaf.

While Berry has not commented on the controversy, she is speaking out her own experiences, hoping her voice will have an impact on helping other women.

"I saw my mother battered and beaten many years of my life and I felt helpless," she tells "I have an understanding, a knowing. I feel like I have something that I can impart to these women. 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.

Berry is also trying to clear up misconceptions about domestic violence, insisting many people do not understand the cycle of abuse.

"For some reason, I've found after 15 years of working with the Jenesse Center (domestic violence prevention organisation) that when it comes to domestic violence people just say, 'I don't get it. Why don't they just leave? This is ridiculous'," she adds. "I call them (these women) addicts. They're love addicts... They're addicted to the pain. And they're largely addicted to the pain because they've been taught nothing else.

"They haven't been taught that they have self-worth or value. They often weren't loved the way they should've been as children from their mothers or their fathers. People didn't say the things they should have said."