Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women Reese Witherspoon announces the winners of the Avon Communications Awards: Speaking Out About Violence Against Women at the 2nd World Conference of Women's Shelters at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center on Feb. 28, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

*Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon referenced the volatile relationship between Rihanna and Chris Brown during her speech at the recent World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington, D.C., which she delivered as part of her partnership with the Avon Foundation to raise awareness about domestic violence.

She told the audience how she actively talks to her two children, Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8, about domestic abuse, and that Rihanna’s infamous incident is part of that conversation.

“We talk about domestic violence and what that means,” Witherspoon, 35, told People. “Although the concept is somewhat foreign to them, they’re starting to understand that this happens to families in our country and all throughout the world.”

She also doesn’t shelter them from the realities of Brown’s assault on Rihanna.

“My daughter knows what happened. My son knows as well,” she continued. “We talk about what is abuse. I think it’s important to talk to our daughters and our sons in order to educate them at an early age about what’s appropriate and what is absolutely not acceptable.”