Charlize Theron to Send a Message

When South African actress Charlize Theron was 15, she witnessed her mother shoot her alcoholic father in self-defense.

Now Theron, 35, is using her own personal tragedy to help others.

The stunning actress was inducted as a UN Messenger of Peace Monday by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Theron will be traveling the world on behalf of the UN to aid in ending violence againt women and girls.

After being inducted, Charlize said she was taking on her new responsibilities “very humbly, with a very excited heart.”

The Academy Award winner, who played a woman who suffers extreme workplace abuse in 2005’s North Country, will use her fame to assist Ban’s UNite to End Violence against Women campaign, which was launched in February.

“This is something that has been very dear to me, and disturbing to me for a long time,” Theron said.