07/02/2018 10:34 PM AEDT

Reese Witherspoon Opens Up About Her Experiences Of Domestic Abuse

The actress revealed how leaving her abusive relationship changed her life.

Reese Witherspoon has shared her own experiences of domestic abuse, opening up about leaving a toxic relationship earlier in her life.

In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey for O magazine, to promote their upcoming film ‘A Wrinkle In Time’, Reese discussed her history of the “psychological” and “verbal” abuse she endured when she was in a relationship and “really young”.

Speaking about the moment she knew she had to leave the relationship, Reese explained: I drew a line in the sand, and it got crossed, and my brain just switched. I couldn’t go any further. I was really young, and it was profound.

“It changed who I was on a cellular level, the fact that I stood up for myself. It’s part of the reason I can stand up and say, ‘Yes, I’m ambitious.’ Because someone tried to take that from me.”

Jean Baptiste Lacroix via Getty Images
Reese Witherspoon

Throughout her career, Reese has been an advocate for tackling domestic abuse, both through her work as a brand ambassador for Avon and independently, even speaking in the House Of Commons about the issue back in 2009.

She’s also been a vocal supporter of the ‘Time’s Up’ movement, which aims to help anyone in any industry who has been on the receiving end of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Looking to the future, Reese said she feels women using their power is the way to combat gender inequality, telling Oprah: There are a lot of really good men in the world, but I do think it’s incumbent on women in leadership to rewrite the rules.

“We have to get together as groups of women, which is what I’ve been doing with a lot of actresses. It’s been incredibly illuminating.”

Since its inception less than a month ago, the ‘Time’s Up’ movement has already helped raise $20 million, and has received requests for help from more than 1000 people.

Read Reese and Oprah’s interview in full in the new issue of O magazine, out on 13 February.